“Man Grows Used to Everything, the Scoundrel” — Raskolnikov (Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment)

” . . . Man grows used to everything, the scoundrel!”

He sank into thought.

“And what if I am wrong,” he cried suddenly after a moment’s thought. “What if man is not really a scoundrel, man in general, I mean, the whole race of mankind—then all the rest is prejudice, simply artificial terrors and there are no barriers and it’s all as it should be.”

—From Chapter II of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment.

2 thoughts on ““Man Grows Used to Everything, the Scoundrel” — Raskolnikov (Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment)”

    1. I think it’s the imperative existential question that Rakolnikov (and Dostoevsky) tries to address in Crime and Punishment: Is humanity debased and evil, a race of scoundrels failing to live up to an ideal good—or is morality a system of “artificial terrors” and “barriers” that can be surpassed? Do we rationalize away or get used to the doing of evil deeds, or do we rationalize the existence of an external moral system that in actuality doesn’t exist?


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