What Makes Up Our Behavior Essay Example
Since Ancient Greece, we have spent thousands of years studying human behavior. Behind all the extensive research and theories postulated, one common theme persists in every aspect of psychology: nature versus nurture. This spectrum helps categorize specific actions as being influenced by the internal chemistry of a person or by outside factors, we are either born the way we are, or we have been raised to behave a certain way.
One intriguing discipline of psychology is criminology, the study of criminals’ views, thoughts, intentions, actions, and reactions. In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov murders an old pawnbroker and her innocent sister in retribution. His personality has a more significant 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: alcoholics, vagabonds, prostitutes, child molesters, and regular peasants struggle each day to suffice for themselves. Due to the rampant 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 sweeping through the country supply reasoning for Raskolnikov’s murderous plot, so why am I not supporting that the political and social climate has a more significant 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 Alyona, he has a heightened sense of self-importance and entitlement, which is prevalent throughout the story. The schism, wavering between generous or malicious intent, proves that Raskolnikov has a psychological disorder where he is constantly negotiating between his conscious and unconscious desires.