Course Hero Logo

Crime and Punishment | Study Guide

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Crime and Punishment Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 8 June 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, July 28). Crime and Punishment Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 8, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "Crime and Punishment Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed June 8, 2023.


Course Hero, "Crime and Punishment Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed June 8, 2023,

Part 2, Chapters 1–2

Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Part 2, Chapters 1–2 of Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel Crime and Punishment.

Crime and Punishment | Part 2, Chapters 1–2 | Summary



Part 2, Chapter 1

After lying in bed for hours, Raskolnikov suddenly realizes he forgot to hide the evidence from the crime. Panicked and feverish, he conceals the stolen items in a hole behind the wall of his room. He tears pieces of bloodstained fabric from his clothes and discovers a bloody sock in his boot. But Raskolnikov is so ill he cannot stay awake to get rid of them, and he falls asleep, gripping them in his hand. Nastasya and the porter bring him a summons to visit the local police. They laugh at the "rags" he clutches, not noticing they are stained with blood.

Raskolnikov fears the police have discovered his crime and will search his room while he is out, yet he must answer the summons. On the way to the police, he feels an urge to confess. At the police station, he speaks to the head clerk, Zametov. He is elated to learn the summons is only about his debt to his landlady, and he changes his mind about confessing. When he is asked to repay the debt, Raskolnikov explains that he is poor. Besides, he should not owe anything. His landlady extended him credit because he planned to marry her daughter, who is now dead of typhus.

After signing a promise that he will repay the debt, Raskolnikov again feels an urge to confess. However, he overhears that the two men who knocked on the pawnbroker's door just after the murder are being released. The police realize the murderer was in the apartment and escaped when the men left. Raskolnikov tries to leave but faints. He blames it on being ill, but llya Petrovitch, a police superintendent, seems suspicious. Nevertheless, they let him go.

Part 2, Chapter 2

Raskolnikov's fears prove unfounded—no one has searched his room. He rushes to throw the stolen items in the canal, but there are too many people around. After searching various locations, he finally hides the items under a large rock in a hidden courtyard. He is exhilarated but then realizes he never even opened the purse or looked at the jewelry he stole. He also passes the spot where he saw the drunken girl earlier. He feels more alienated than ever: "A new overwhelming sensation was gaining more and more mastery over him every moment; this was an immeasurable, almost physical, repulsion for everything surrounding him, an obstinate, malignant feeling of hatred. All who met him were loathsome to him." Feeling ill, he wanders to Razumihin's.

As soon as Raskolnikov gets to Razumihin's room, he feels like leaving. He mumbles about wanting Razumihin to help him find work, then changes his mind. Razumihin is concerned that Raskolnikov seems ill. He offers to share some of his translation work with him, which pays in advance. Raskolnikov first accepts, then declines, before leaving abruptly, angering Razumihin: "Are you raving, or what?" Razumihin shouts, roused to fury at last. "What farce is this? You'll drive me crazy too. ... What did you come to see me for?"

Raskolnikov nearly gets trampled by a carriage because he doesn't notice he is in the middle of the road. The coachman whips him, making several people laugh, but an elderly woman gives him a coin "in Christ's name." He stands at a familiar spot on a bridge, depressed as he compares his past and present. He throws the coin in the river in despair and goes home. Later he wakes up to hear Ilya Petrovitch brutally beating his landlady. Raskolnikov fears he is next. Later Nastasya tells him it was only a dream.


Raskolnikov is torn between reason and conscience for much of the novel. For the time being, reason wins out; however, his conscience manifests in sudden strong urges to confess, which he nearly does at the police station. The police represent the consequences of Raskolnikov's crime. When he faints as the police are discussing the murder, they begin to suspect him, building the plot's suspense—will they be able to catch him? Or will he confess before they do?

In Part 2, Chapter 2, Raskolnikov reaches new depths of alienation. He works hard to push people away, especially if they show they care about him. This may be how he protects himself from the painful aftereffects of his crime, including guilt and shame. In addition, getting too close to others could tempt him to confess.

For example, Raskolnikov has conflicted motives for visiting Razumihin. He wants Razumihin to help him, but he isolates himself, refusing even to tell his friend where he is living and turning down his generous offer of work. He tosses a coin a woman gives him "in Christ's name" into the river, feeling that he has "cut himself off from everyone and from everything at that moment." He expresses loathing for people and things around him, but what he really loathes is himself.

Two violent incidents occur in this chapter, one real and one imaginary, and both are connected to dreams. The first is similar to the dream of the horse's beating in Part 1, Chapter 5. Raskolnikov has killed two people, but his whipping by the coachman implies that Raskolnikov is in the mare's position—he is suffering too. The dream about Ilya Petrovitch beating the landlady is a manifestation of Raskolnikov's inability to face his guilt about his crime or his fear of its punishment.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Crime and Punishment? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!