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Foreshadowing in Crime and Punishment

In addition to providing readers with Raskolnikov’s internal thoughts, Dostoevsky also utilizes several other foreshadowing techniques in the novel. For instance, readers are privy to Raskolnikov’s dreams, and many of the allusions to biblical stories and historical figures foreshadow Raskolnikov’s fate.

Foreshadowing Examples in Crime and Punishment:

Part I - Chapter II

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"even ascribed it to presentiment...."   (Part I - Chapter II)

Raskolnikov thinks about this impression later as a presentiment, a sign or feeling, that something is going to happen. Dostoevsky uses this line to indicate to the readers the importance of this meeting between Raskolnikov and not-yet-named clerk.

"That's the blood crying in your ears...."   (Part II - Chapter II)

Nastasya is saying that the blood circulating in Raskolnikov's body is pounding in his brain and is giving him hallucinations. However, the causes for this dream are more likely associated with his guilt, and Dostoevsky uses sleep and dreams to foreshadow the beginning of Raskolnikov's internalization of his guilt.

"He had a sudden sense almost of joy..."   (Part IV - Chapter VI)

If not for the sudden confession from Nikolay, Raskolnikov was likely very close to being arrested himself. This turn of events gives Raskolnikov a renewed sense of life and freedom similar to how he felt when he gave all his money to Katerina Ivanovna. However, if this moment is like the other, we know that his guilt will return and that this feeling of joy will be short lived.

"It would have been better to be well for the occasion..."   (Part VI - Chapter VI)

Readers should view this line with suspicion. Having been rebuked by Dounia, Svidrigailov foreshadows that he has some other plan or plans in mind. His concern for his own health here represents a somewhat ironic statement on his part, especially considering what he plans to do. However, it does reinforce the image of Svidrigailov as a character who holds to certain ideas of decorum despite doing whatever he pleases with those around him.

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