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Crime and Punishment is a novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, first published in 1866. It is the second of Dostoyevsky's full-length novels following his return from ten years of exile in Siberia.
Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in St.
Petersburg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her cash. Raskolnikov argues that with the pawnbroker's money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime, while ridding the world of a worthless vermin. He also commits this murder to test his own hypothesis that some people are naturally capable of such things, and even have the right to do them. Several times throughout the novel, Raskolnikov justifies his actions by connecting himself mentally with Napoleon Bonaparte, believing that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821 - 1881) was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist and philosopher.
Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the context of the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.