The Role of Dunya in “Crime and Punishment” by Dostoyevsky

624 words | 3 page(s)

It is a widely known fact that Dostoyevski is a great writer being famous for his novel “Crime and Punishment” where there was depicted an outrageous act of murdering committed by Rodion Roskolnikov. Rodin along with the other minor characters of the novel play a crucial role but have their own distinct features which determine their personalities. In particular, I would like to dwell on the character of Dunya who was the sister of Rodion and tried to prevent her brother from the cruel thoughts. Therefore, the primary aims of the paper are to investigate the character of Dunya in depth in order to clarify why some critics suppose her to make a great contribution in the life of Rodion Roskolnikov.

To begin with, it should be noted that the attractive appearance of Dunya served as a sign of her kind soul and warm feelings to her family. To specify, the author described her as “a tall, slim girl being quite similar to her brother. Moreover, judging from her appearance, she might be definitely supposed to be a charming lady ”(Part 1, Chapter 3, p. 88) . In addition, Dunya is quite proud of herself , but she truly loves her brother and tries to help him by all means. That is to say, her desire to help Rodion was so high that she even firstly agreed to work as a housemaid in the house of Svidrigaylov who intended to ruin her. What is more, Dunya was willing to marry Luzhin in order to improve the financial affairs of her brother. Thus, the actions of Dunya may be the evidence of the fact that she was dedicated to her brother and willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of brother’s well-being.

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Besides, it is significant to underline that Raskolnikov tried to convince Dunya of the fact that Luzhin was not a perfect man, thus Raskolnikov did not want his sister to marry him. It is a fact that Dunya did not believe in the bad nature of Luzhin and could not realize why her brother resisted their marriage. However, Dunya has understood it later when she got to know that Luzhin was an ambitious man who wanted to gain control over her. In other words, she was impressed with his words when he told that “the love to the future husband should exceed the love to the brother”(Part 2, Chapter 9, p. 198). Having realized Luzhin’s words, Dunya was sure that he was a selfish man who wanted to be loved and feel life satisfaction not caring without the feeling of his wife. Eventually, Dunya refused from marrying Luzhin by saying to him “get out of here”(Part 1, Chapter 6, p.76), thus the readers were under the impression that she was quite sensible.

Needless to say, Dunya always disagreed to consider Sonya to be a pretty good choice for her brother , but she changed her mind and all her doubts vanished. To put it simply, Dunya recognized Sonya’s love to Roskolnikov and felt that “Sonya is…wonderful” (Part 6, Chapter 14, p. 354). As a result, it is often claimed that Dunya was quite sociable and managed to avoid any further conflicts with Sonya.

To sum up, it is important to underline that the role of Dunya is immense in the novel since her internal feelings as well as emotions influenced the way of thinking of Rodion. The character of Dunya is a fine example for all the characters of the novel since she is sensible, kind, sincere as well as always ready to take challenges and resist them confidently. Therefore, Dunya ,due to her sensibility, married the right man and felt satisfied with the style of life she strived for.

  • Oliver Ready. Penguin Classic Crime And Punishment. Paperback- International Edition. 2014.

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