Books and Movies Reviews

Superman Will Fly No More

Fyodor Dostoevski's Crime and Punishment follows the main character Raskolnikov as he attempts to prove his theories on the possibility of a "superman" having the power to transgress the law and morality because he is more "extraordinary" than the common man.Throughout his journey testing his theory, the author not only uses the main character as a representation of how such an egotistical theory isn't true, but also uses another character, Svidrigailov, as an example of the philosophy's fallibility.In Crime and Punishment, Dostoevski characterizes Svidrigailov as the embodiment of evil as he represents the Nietzsche "superman," and through Svidrigailov's death, proves his belief in the inability of anyone's will to exist above humanity in the world.
Arkady Ivanovitch Svidrigailov is a character based on the philosophical ideas of Nietzsche, known for his beliefs that it is possible for a "superman" to be so great that laws, morals, and ethics can't touch him in the sense that he's not physically of emotionally punished.This extraordinary man does not exist for the benefit of society, but only for his own self-gratification.He also believes that his will is above that of any Supreme being, therefore God does not exist.With no higher form of life to punish him, he is able to assert his will freely as he chooses.According to Nietzsche, he who possesses the strongest will can enforce his desires and power above those intellectually inferior.Dostoevski applies this concept with the characterization of Svidrigailov, who can rape a thirteen-year old girl and aid in the death of his wife without the fear of some higher power punishing him.Just as Raskolnikov can justify the murders of the old pawnbroker and her sister by means necessary to complete his experiment, Svidrigailov can justify his rape because he is above the common morality.
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