What Makes Us Who We Are. The Behavior Essay Example

Since the times of Ancient Greece, we have spent thousands of years studying human behavior. Behind all the extensive research conducted and theories postulated, one common theme persists in every aspect of psychology: nature versus nurture. This spectrum helps categorize certain actions as being influenced by the internal chemistry of a person or by outside factors, we are either born the way we are our we have been raised to behave a certain way. One intriguing discipline of psychology is criminology, the study of the views, thoughts, intentions, actions, and reactions of criminals. In Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov murders an old pawnbroker and her innocent sister in an act of retribution. His personality has a greater influence on him than the impoverished setting had for him to break the law.

St Petersburg in the mid-nineteenth century was within a grim period of political reform, poverty, and reconstruction of society. The streets are crawling with low-life’s: alcoholics, vegabonds, prostitutes, child molestors, and regular peasants struggle each day to suffice for themselves as well. Due to the rampant occurrence of crime in the city, it is safe to assume that one can simply get away with whatever they do, that there is so much criminal activity that they all fall into obscurity due to the population of other felons in the city. Raskolnikov is right to believe this when he overhears a student commenting, “‘Besides, what value has the life of that sickly, stupid, ill-natured old women in the balance of existence?’ ” (Dostoevsky 68). Even the nihilistic beliefs that are sweeping through the country supplying reasoning to Raskolnikov's murderous plot, so why am I not supporting that the political and social climate have a greater influence on the antagonist? What makes Dostoevsky’s novel so acclaimed is the paranoia and other internal battles that Raskolnikov faces. Even before he kills Alyonna, he has a heightened sense of self importance and entitlement which is prevalent throughout the story. The schism, wavering between having a generous or malicious intent, proves that Raskolnikov has a psychological disorder where is is constantly negotiating between his conscious and unconscious desires.



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