Crime and Punishment (Russian: Преступление и наказание Pryestupleniye i nakazaniye) is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was first published in the Russian literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was later published in a single volume. This is the second of Dostoevsky's full-length novels following his return from five years of exile in Siberia, where he was serving his sentence in Katorga camps, the Tsarist forced-labor system and predecessor to the Soviet Gulag. Crime and Punishment is the first great novel of his "mature period" of writing.
Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in St. Petersburg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money. Raskolnikov argues that with the pawnbroker's money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime, while ridding the world of a worthless parasite. He also commits this murder to test his own hypothesis that some people are naturally capable of, and even have the right to, do such things. Several times throughout the novel, Raskolnikov...