Crime and Punishment
Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, a former student, lives in a tiny garret on the top floor of a run-down apartment building in St. Petersburg. He is sickly, dressed in rags, short on money, and talks to himself, but he is also handsome, proud, and intelligent. He is contemplating committing an awful crime, but the nature of the crime is not yet clear. He goes to the apartment of an old pawnbroker, Alyona Ivanovna, to get money for a watch and to plan the crime. Afterward, he stops for a drink at a tavern, where he meets a man named Marmeladov, who, in a fit of drunkenness, has abandoned his job and proceeded on a five-day drinking binge, afraid to return home to his family. Marmeladov tells Raskolnikov about his sickly wife, Katerina Ivanovna, and his daughter, Sonya, who has been forced into prostitution to support the family. Raskolnikov walks with Marmeladov to Marmeladov’s apartment, where he meets Katerina and sees firsthand the squalid conditions in which they live.
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