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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dostoyevsky Relates to Solomon, April 2, 2003
This review is from: Crime and Punishment (Everyman's Library) (Hardcover)
This is the second book I've read by Dostoyevsky, the other being The Brothers Karamazov, and I must say that both books ultimately come to the same conclusion. Both Alyosha and Raskolnikov give the final words to their stories. True, these two characters are very different from each other with Alyosha representing pure, unfettered faith in God and Raskolnikov giving a voice to the young, intellectially rich but spiritually confused community that was ever growing in power and influence in 19th century Russia.
However, I found it very interesting that both characters come to basically the same conclusion: Life is worthy of praise and intellect can't be counted on to provide all of the answers to existence. Raskolnikov's epiphany in the very end of the story, much like Alyosha's ending monologue mirror the same conclusion that Solomon reaches in the last chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes. Love of life and God are the only things that ultimately matter.
I'm certainly not saying that Raskolnikov became a religious person in the end but he certainly did rise above his dreary, disheartening doctrine of dry intellectual self-rationalization. Is Dostoyevsky stating his agreement with Solomon in these two great works? Just a thought.
For the record, this was a wonderful book. The characters, especially those who are in conflict with Raskolnikov, are tricky, clever and intriguing. I really enjoyed this.
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