December 17, 2021
7 Minutes

Crime And Punishment

Book summary of Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Read this book summary to review the important takeaways and lessons from the book.

Table Of Contents

1. Part 1: Chapter 1

2. Part 1: Chapter 2

3. Part 1: Chapter 3

4. Part 1: Chapter 4

5. Part 1: Chapter 5

6. Part 2: Chapter 1

7. Part 2: Chapter 3

8. Part 2: Chapter 4

9. Part 2: Chapter 5

10. Part 2: Chapter 7

11. Part 3: Chapter 1

12. Part 3: Chapter 3

13. Part 3: Chapter 5

14. Part 3: Chapter 6

15. Part 4: Chapter 2

16. Part 4: Chapter 5

17. Part 5: Chapter 1

18. Part 5: Chapter 3

19. Part 5: Chapter 4

20. Part 6: Chapter 1

21. Part 6: Chapter 2

22. Part 6: Chapter 4

23. Part 6: Chapter 5

24. Part 6: Chapter 8

25. Epilogue: Chapter 2

Part 1: Chapter 1

  • That's why I never do anything because I ramble on to myself like that. Or perhaps it's the other way round: I ramble because I never do anything.

  • One glass of beer, a sukhar and in a single moment, the mind gains strength, one's thoughts grow lucid and one's intentions firm.

Part 1: Chapter 2

  • There are some encounters, even with people who are strangers to us, in which we begin to take an interest from the first glance, suddenly, before we have uttered a word.

  • When a man is poor, he may still preserve the nobility of his inborn feelings, but when he's destitute, he never can.

  • Man can get used to anything.

Part 1: Chapter 3

  • To get to know anyone, it is necessary to approach them cautiously and by stages so as not to jump to erroneous conclusions, which may be hard to correct and make amends for after.

  • I fear in my heart that you may have been affected by this latest fashion of unbelief.

Part 1: Chapter 4

  • He studied intensely, not sparing himself, and for this, he was respected; nobody liked him, however.

Part 1: Chapter 5

  • When one is in a morbid state of health, one's dreams are often characterised by an unusual vividness and brilliance and extremely lifelike quality.

Part 2: Chapter 1

  • It was a strange thing he suddenly felt, he did not give a damn about what anyone thought, and this change took place in the interval of a single flash, a single moment.

  • His soul had suddenly and consciously been affected by a gloomy sense of alienation, compounded with one of an agonising, infinite solitariness.

Part 2: Chapter 3

  • The workings of some strange, almost animal cunning suddenly prompted him to conceal his strength until the right moment, to lie low, pretend to be not yet quite conscious, if need be, all the while listening and pricking up his ears to find out what was going on.

  • What a man wears on his head, brother, is the most important item of his costume. It's a kind of introduction, in a way.

Part 2: Chapter 4

  • To be quite honest, if one goes into all the ins and outs of everyone, are there really going to be all that many good people left?

  • If you push a man away, you'll never set him on the right path, and the same is even truer of a boy.

  • I mean, it's not the fact that they're lying; one can always forgive a man for telling lies; lying's a harmless activity because it leads to the truth.

  • "We've got facts", they say. But facts aren't everything; at least half the battle consists in how one makes use of them.

Part 2: Chapter 5

  • I like meeting young people: it is from them that one learns what is new.

  • Everyone's making themselves better-off by various means, so I wanted to do the same in as short a time as possible.

  • People have grown accustomed to having everything ready-made for them. They're used to depending on the guidance of others, having everything chewed up for them first.

Part 2: Chapter 7

  • One can't get anything without strength, and strength has to be acquired through strength: that's what they don't understand.

Part 3: Chapter 1

  • Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms. It's by talking nonsense that one gets to the truth.

  • Not one single truth has ever been arrived at without people first having talked a dozen reams of nonsense, even ten dozen reams of it, and that's an honourable thing in its own way; well, but we can't even talk nonsense with our own brains. Talk nonsense to me, by all means, but do it with your own brain, and I shall love you for it. To talk nonsense in one's own way is almost better than to talk a truth that's someone else's; in the first instance, you behave like a human being, while in the second, you are merely being a parrot.

Part 3: Chapter 3

  • He's a clever man, but cleverness alone is not enough to act cleverly.

Part 3: Chapter 5

  • The way they see it, it's not mankind which, moving along a historical, living path of development, will finally transmute itself into a sane society. But, rather, a social system which, having emanated from some mathematical head, will at once reorganise the whole of mankind and in a single instant make it virtuous and free from sin, more speedily than any living process, bypassing any historical or living path.

  • The living soul demands to live, the living soul isn't obedient to the laws of mechanics, the living soul is suspicious, the living soul is reactionary.

  • It's impossible to leap over nature solely using logic. Logic may predict three eventualities, but there are a million of them.

  • The ordinary must live in obedience and do not have the right to break the law because, well, because they're ordinary, you see. On the other hand, the extraordinary have the right to commit all sorts of crimes and break the law in all sorts of ways precisely because they're extraordinary.

  • In short, I argued that all people, not only the great, but even those who deviate only marginally from the common rut, that's to say who are only marginally capable of saying something new, are bound, by their very nature, to be criminals to a greater or lesser degree, of course. Otherwise, they would find it hard to get out of the rut. It goes without saying that they could not possibly agree to remain in it again because of their nature. Indeed, in my view, they have a positive duty not to agree to remain in it.

  • On the whole, there are extremely few people with new ideas, or who are even the merest bit capable of saying something new so few that it's almost strange.

  • Pain and suffering are inevitable for persons of broad awareness and depth of heart.

Part 3: Chapter 6

  • If a man has even the slightest bit of intelligence and worldly wisdom, he'll try as far as possible to admit to all the external and undeniable circumstances; only he'll try to find other reasons for them, will introduce some special and unexpected feature of his own, one which gives them a different significance and puts them in a new light.

  • The cleverer a person is, the less he suspects he'll be caught out over some ordinary thing like that. In fact, the way to catch a clever person is to use the most ordinary thing you can think of.

Part 4: Chapter 2

  • Pyotr Petrovich belonged to that category of men who, when observed in society, appear extremely amiable and make a special virtue of their amiability. But, as soon as anything is not to their liking, they lose all their inner resources and become more reminiscent of sacks of flour than easy-going cavaliers whose task is to enliven the company.

Part 4: Chapter 5

  • Sometimes, one gains more from simply having a friendly chat.

Part 5: Chapter 1

  • Everything depends on a man's surroundings and environment. Everything proceeds from the environment, and a man is nothing on his own.

Part 5: Chapter 3

  • She had imagined that it might somehow be possible for her to avoid disaster by being meek and cautious and obedient to all and sundry. Great, therefore, was her disillusionment.

Part 5: Chapter 4

  • I realised that that was never going to happen, that people aren't going to change and that no one can make them any different from what they are, and that it's not worth the effort to try.

  • Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. Only one thing matters, one thing: to be able to dare.

Part 6: Chapter 1

  • Sometimes, a man will endure half an hour of mortal terror at the hands of a brigand, yet when the knife is finally put to his throat, even his terror passes.

Part 6: Chapter 2

  • A hundred rabbits will never make a horse, a hundred suspicions will never make a case, as a certain English proverb says, and I mean that's only common wisdom, sir. Still, you see, one also has to deal with the passions, the passions, sir, for an investigator is only human.

  • Oh, that proud, frustrated enthusiasm is a dangerous thing in youth.

  • For heaven's sake, suffering's not such a very terrible thing. Go and suffer for a bit. That Mikolka fellow may well be right in wanting to suffer. I know you don't believe it, but don't try to be too clever, either. Surrender yourself directly to life, without circumspection; don't worry, it will carry you straight to the shore and put you on your feet.

  • Become a sun, and then everyone will see you.

Part 6: Chapter 4

  • If one is to form a dispassionate judgement about certain people, one must, first of all, jettison certain prejudices one may have, and also one's customary manner of dealing with the persons and objects that surround us.

  • There is nothing more difficult than plain speaking in the world and nothing easier than flattery.

  • Never undertake anything when you're in a state of rage, Rodion Romanych.

  • You're right, she doesn't love me but never be too sure about the things that go on between a husband and a wife or a lover and his mistress. There will always be one little corner that will remain obscure to the rest of the world and will only be known to the two.

  • Everyone must look out for themselves, and the best time is had by those who're best able to deceive themselves.

Part 6: Chapter 5

  • Napoleon fascinated him dreadfully, or rather what fascinated him was that a great many men of genius have turned a blind eye to isolated acts of wrongdoing in order to stride onwards and across, without reflecting.

Part 6: Chapter 8

  • As long as the fellow's a gentleman, all the rest can be acquired by means of talent, knowledge, intellect, genius.

Epilogue: Chapter 2

  • Existence on its own had never been enough for him; he had always wanted more than that. Perhaps it had been merely the strength of his desires that made him believe he was a person to whom more was allowed than others.

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