(15) Why didn't Raskolnikov in "Crime and Punishment" become Rastignak in "Old Gorio"?

Impressions of the Summer Recounted in Autumn - Trip to Paris and Georgia

(15) Why didn't Raskolnikov become Rastignak?

After a week's stay in Paris, the itinerary is finally coming to an end.

The intention of this article was to describe my impressions of the summer in the style of Dostoevsky, but I could not say much about Dostoevsky himself.

Dostoevsky himself rarely talked about the sights and art of Paris, but I would still like to write about what I thought of him at the end of the Paris section.

Paris, the capital of the world. Paris, the capital of the world. The Paris of Balzac.

A world of overwhelming prosperity and greed. A world of glamorous society, the rise of capitalists, and the rise to power.

The fashionable and elegant Parisian atmosphere I was able to feel, somewhat, during this short stay.

Parisian Parisiennes strut gracefully through the glittering boutique district.

As I watched them, it occurred to me.

Why didn't Raskolnikov become Rastignak?"

Raskolnikov is no stranger to this.Crime and Punishment."He is the protagonist of the film. He is an impoverished student from the countryside who comes out of the countryside to succeed, and to break out of his dead-end situation he kills a mean old moneylender and tries to get some money.

Rastignac, on the other handOld Gorio."He was the protagonist of the "The Lawyer," a young man who had also come to Tokyo to become a lawyer in the glamorous city of Paris. And like Raskolnikov, he felt that he was at a standstill in his steady studies.

What could he do to succeed more quickly? These thoughts soon began to occupy his mind.

From here, French literature scholar Shigeru KashimaFrench literature is useful!"I would like to quote the words of

Rastignac, taking advantage of the unique trend during the restoration of the monarchy that even a penniless young man could rise in politics if he had the backing of a powerful socialite, tried to enter the world of society by relying on the connections of his relative, the Baroness Beauséant. He is also a very good friend of the Vicomte de Beaucaire. He is humiliated when a servant of Countess Lesteau makes fun of his mud-stained shoes.

In a time when the level of desire was skyrocketing, Vautrin, an escaped convict, was waiting in the wings to take advantage of those who were driven by greed. When Vautrin sees that Rastignac is "suddenly" burning with the desire to get ahead in life, he makes a clever pass at him and tries to win him over to his side. The argument that Vautrin uses to persuade Rastignac is, in essence, a recommendation for a short-cut life, and the emergence of a large number of young people who are willing to take the short cut is the greatest product of the Great Revolution.

If you want to get ahead quickly, you must already be rich, or at least look like it. If you want to be rich, you have to take a big gamble here in Paris, or you'll end up a miser for the rest of your life. Yes, thank you.

Rastignac almost succumbs to Vautrin's seduction and asks, "What do you want from me? but, as chance would have it, he escapes Vautrin's clutches just in the nick of time. (omitted).

This is a monumental work that addresses the modern theme of how a young man with only himself to rely on can fight against society without selling his soul to the devil, in a world where the existing social system has collapsed due to the Great Revolution and "money is everything. Rastignac is the prototype of the modern young man who "wants to do what he wants to do, suddenly become famous and rich, but hates tedious effort," and Flaubert, Maupassant, and Zola have all since been trying to create their own Rastignac.

NHK Publishing, Shigeru Kashima, French Literature is Useful, p. 71-73
Rastignac on the left and Vautrin on the right Rastignac avec Vautrin dans la cour de la pension Vauquer (Le Père Goriot).From Wikipedia

Rastignac wanted to get ahead quickly. However, this meant entering a world of deceitful and treacherous scheming. He also wanted to use even love to get ahead.

Vautrin's words are truly demonic. I can't introduce it any further here, but it approaches him with a tremendous force: "What is good, what is evil, what is the reality of this world? He says, "Abandon virtue. Despise mankind. Look for loopholes in the law. You are going to cheat and commit crimes. At most you will shed blood or not. That's murder, too.

And Rastignac tries desperately to resist it.

The conflict over whether to do or not to do this evil is depicted in "Grandpa Gorio.

Rastignac, however, overcame the temptations of the evil charismatic Vautrin and rose through the ranks of society on the "honest path" (what is honest?). (Please read the book to find out what "honest path" is).

In other words, Rastignac did not do anything against the law. And he was determined to make it in the glamorous world of socializing.

But what about Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment? Did he choose the path of Rastignak? No, no, he could never even contemplate such a glamorous world. In a shabby room like a graveyard, he kept thinking and thinking, and finally he decided to kill an old woman who lent him money.

Why did Raskolnikov have to commit such a crime? Why did he bother risking arrest?

Why didn't it occur to him to rise up like Rastignac?

This is precisely what shows that Dostoevsky was not a Parisian, but a Russian.

Coming to Paris and actually seeing the glamorous world suddenly made me feel that That Raskolnikov did not become Rastignak. I thought to myself, "Here is something Dostoevskian, something Russian. It was an interesting experience for me to realize that differences in historical backgrounds, social systems, ideologies, and cultures are manifested in such places.

Dostoevsky loved Balzac when he was young. Dostoevsky actually saw the Paris that Balzac described. Three years later, he wrote "Crime and Punishment. There is no way that his stay in Paris did not influence his work.

Perhaps Dostoevsky was trying to write "Rastignak in St. Petersburg. If Rastignak had been a young man in St. Petersburg..." He may have been thinking of this as he drew Raskolnikov.

Of course, "Crime and Punishment" has been produced on a variety of other themes. Napoleonic thought, Pushkin'sThe Queen of Spades.It is impossible to simplify it to any one of them.

But in fact, what I felt most when I came to Paris was this question of why Raskolnikov did not become Rastignak.

And one last thing, although Dostoevsky was critical of Parisian money worship, it was still an exciting city for him, and he never said, "I'll never come back! He was not so sure.

When he traveled to Western Europe with his wife Anna in 1867, records show that they could not go to Paris because they did not have enough money. Also in the 1870s, Dostoevsky tried to return to Russia via Paris from the German holiday resort of Bad Ems, but even then he gave up the idea due to lack of money.

After all, Paris must have inspired Dostoevsky in some way.

Despite the criticisms, it is still a fascinating city.

I really agree with this.

If I were asked if I like Paris all the way, I would not say so. I dare not write the reason, but I do.

But there is something that makes me want to come back. I have a feeling that I want to say something, but there is still an attraction that draws me back. I think it is a mysterious town with such a power of attraction.

For the great writer and artist Dostoevsky, this flamboyant city, Paris, the capital of art, must have been anxious to be ignored, for better or worse.

This is what I felt during my stay in Paris.

In the next article, we will talk about Belgium and the Netherlands, which are transit destinations to Georgia.

be unbroken

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