Crime and Punishment

As a step to improve the illiterate situation I joined the Basic Program this year. It had been in my mind for a couple years, but glad this time I signed up in time — the program starts every Fall, but it was some programs that the company paid in 2019 that finally set things in motion. Plus, one good friend also took the class and her feedback was a great positive, esp. for Mr. AR

Indeed I enjoyed the session on "How to read a book" -- and the Fall session that just concluded was enjoyable as well.  I kind of understand the story but from Antigone to C&P, they did not go really deep inside me. I'd prefer the more abstract, analytical "Meno", where I can find reasoning, while author's intention is of least concern.

C&P did give me a tearing moment, but many people may find it strange. It is when Raskolnikov went to see his mother. It is totally breaking my heart as that is a goodbye. Raskolnikov did not have an idea that Napoleon may not have treated his mother like that.

The dominant influence of Napoleon's childhood was his mother, whose firm discipline restrained a rambunctious child.[15] Later in life Napoleon stated, "The future destiny of the child is always the work of the mother."[16] Napoleon's maternal grandmother had married into the Swiss Fesch family in her second marriage, and Napoleon's uncle, the cardinal Joseph Fesch,  would fulfill a role as protector of the Bonaparte family for some  years. Napoleon's noble, moderately affluent background afforded him  greater opportunities to study than were available to a typical Corsican  of the time... —

I would say I treated my mother similar to Raskolnikov — I departed to US and never looked back. Every week we still make phone calls. And in 2020's special occasion, this is a must to check if we are both OK. But I feel it is so sinful to say goodbye like that.

Sorry I cannot even write anything after this.

When mother and I were having conversations, back in China, I usually get blamed for the things I did, and later for my bad attitude to her. It is hard to bear that, as she would give me comments that to me unfair or unreasonable. How could she educate an adult as if I am still the little boy? But even as a little boy, I cannot tolerate her harsh punishments and yelling. That was something I always want to escape from. I'm pretty sure Raskolnikov may have had such moment. When his mother taught him to be selfless and righteous, there might be punishment when he was not. There are so many different personalities in the book, and you cannot just say Razumikhin is more Russian like.

Well. it feels better now, when you start to think about "Russian personality". If you listed one name, why not list more? Is Porfiry that? He is certainly smart as a cop, beat Raskolnikov's ass off. Is Luzhin that? Pretty sure there is his place in the society. Even the German people in Petersburg, can you say they also have got some "Russian personality"?

The illiterate situation must change. I should follow the discussion, think more about what is striking, what is the story or a part of story is really saying, what makes Raskolnikov confess and what stopped him. I am still not getting the importance of those and more prefer to setup prototypes, which will simplify things. C&P is not hard to understand if you understand Raskolnikov has two persons living in his head, right? When the Russian one comes up, he is selfless. When the evil one comes up, he is all for himself and can step over anything. I wonder how hard it is to understand that man can be crazy and disoriented when they do this. Why he has to confess to Sonya, why?? what's so striking about trying to dominate, if that is the only outlet for his conflicts??   Unfortunately it is not the right way to express it, even when now I have enough time to write it down. In the class I often speaks nothing for the whole class. The idea might be too shallow-y and too worthless to let others know. I just cannot even catch up with others, and it would be a disrespect if interrupt others. And I got so many irrelevant ideas.

Bringing ideas irrelevant is serious sin. From "how to read a book", anything you say better have evidence in the book to support it. Well..

The most recent hot game is "Cyberpunk 2077". What's it's likeness with C&P? The society certainly is similar. The character is supposed to be sinful from beginning to the end. And I happened to know the character has double personality, with one of them is a terrorist and the other not any better — maybe that's the difference that made them cannot compare. There is only killings and no saviors. Since it is a game world, there is no consequence unless the p* news photos shows up in a work computer. Let's say all computer games are like that, one can commit crime without consequence, even Mario is booting a lot of mushrooms. Does that make a dominate personality? Does that lead to confess or unwilling to confess? Maybe it is because players are never into the game — most people finish a game in 50-100 hours even when they really like it. In C&P the entire timespan is 9 days, and the crime scene is in the first part. I don't know how much confess and personality comparison can teach reader, that this guy is truly ill. But in a game, after 100 hours maybe the only confess is having spent $60 to buy the game (as well as the $2000 to upgrade to the latest computer graphic card.)

Why real world consequence is so severe? It is like cannibal, nobody has tried it unless one is salvage. Nobody talk about it, nobody can do it without serious PTSD. When something is forbidden so completely — school or family or society did not teach about it, yet merely thinking of it makes one to almost throw up. Where is that psychology come from? So the cold blooded murder, even the thinking of it may make one chill, but walking in the white glass building in Chicago Culture Center, looking at the people died of gun wounds — is it happening because we allowed people to know it is happening??

The Gun Violence Memorial Project
The Gun Violence Memorial Project

I said "sin" many times but C&P did not translate to Sin & Punishment. Sonya said Raskolnikov had sinned greatly, but to social life it is crime, not sin. Raskolnikov is in empathy to the socialist and probably atheist.

The version referred to is and Basic Program gave me a good excuse to buy new books — about 50% of my kindle books were bought since the program started. I don't know when I'll finish them but that's the norm of book buying. I was reading Wuhan Diary before that, and was reading How I Invest My Money, also in the backlog some books others recommended.


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