Raskolnikov represents the modern day man. He has put his faith in truth and science, rather then religion. Nihilism argues that there is no purpose in life. Dostoevsky has a problem with this, because it causes a lack of faith and we see people putting oneself above the other. Raskolnikov believes that he has the right to manipulate society and place himself on a pedestal, because he’s better. This is where Natural Darwinism can be tied in. Raskolnikov acts like he is “naturally selected” to better society, because he thinks he is doing society a favor.
Raskolnikov is a rational egoist. He is rationalizing the fact that he killed someone by saying that it betters him and the society. Patrick Bateman in, American Psycho is also a rational narcissist. Narcissists are only dedicated to improving themselves. They have no concern with the outside world. Most of the time, at least in Bateman’s case, Freud would say that narcissist’s self is not whole, therefore they’re on a search for fulfillment of the self. Bateman wants power and control. By finding power he thinks he will find himself. In the 1980’s, consumerism is taking place. “I am what I wear,” is what’s going through Bateman’s head. The self is the commodity.
Raskolnikov’s murders are driven by an elitist rational thought process…”I am what I think.” Raskolnikov is an egotist. He loves himself so much that he thinks it is the role of the world to serve him. An egoist puts himself above everybody else and therefore justifies all his actions because of his/her idea of supremacy.
We are yet to find out about Raskolnikov and his ideals as we go through the book…until next week!