Originally published in twelve monthly installments in the literary journal, The Russian Messenger (1866), the novel was subsequently published and translated for a world audiencel. After ten years of exile in Siberia, this was Dostoevsky's second major novel. The lead character, Rodion Raskolnikov suffers mental anguish and moral dilemma as he plans to kill a pawnbroker to use her cash to perform good deeds. Is murder ever permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose? The novel is often studied in grades 11-12 to explore this moral dilemma and leaders in positions of power who answer it quite differently, not dissimilar from another great Russian work of realist fiction, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy)
Dostoevsky's novel is featured in our guide to Russian Writers.
Return to the Fyodor Dostoevsky library.