Links between Crime and Punishment and A Doll's House
There are many links between Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and A Doll's House, by Henrik Isben. Each character goes through many ironic situations. Throughout both of the works all three types of irony are used. In this essay irony is going to be used to link the two works together. Dramatic, situational, and verbal irony are going to be used to link the two works together.
Dramatic irony is used throughout Crime and Punishment. The reader knows that Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov killed the pawnbroker, Alyona Ivanovna, and her sister, Lizaveta Ivanovna. A quote to support this is,
"He took the axe right out, swung it up in both hands,
barely conscious of what he was doing, and almost without effort, almost effort, almost mechanically, brought the butt of it down on the old woman's head." (Dostoyevsky 114)
No one in the novel knows who killed the pawnbroker and her sister except for Raskolnikov. The police officer, Porfiry Petrovitch, suspects that Raskolnikov killed the pawnbroker and her sister but he cannot prove it.
The reader also knows that Luzhin puts money in Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladov's pocket when she is not looking. After Sofya, whose nickname is Sonia, finishes talking to Luzhin she leaves. Sonia has no idea that Luzhin has put money into her pocket. Raskolnikov's friend, Andrei Semyonovitch Lebezyatnikov, was present when all of that takes place. "All of this was observed by Andrei Semyonovich." (Dostoyevsky 460) Luzhin goes to a reception for Sonia's father, Semyon Zakharovitch Marmeladov, and announces that Sonia is a thief. Sonia immediately denies the accusation. Luzhin tells her to look in her pocket. Sure enough the money that he was missing was there. Luzhin wants Sonia to marry him but she does not love him. Luzhin plans to blackmail Sonia into marrying him. Lebezyatnikov steps in to save the day when he says, "I saw it. I saw it.... And even though it's against my convictions, I would be prepared to swear to it on oath in any court of law you'd care to name, because I saw how you slipped it into her pocket on the sly!" (Dostoyevsky 465)
A Doll's House also contains many examples of dramatic irony. In A Doll's House the reader is aware that Nora borrowed money from Krogstad without her husband's permission. Nora also forged her father's name to gain the money. She says, "You don't know all. I forged a name." (Isben 44) In the following conversation between Nora and Christine it is clearly stated that Torvald does not know of Nora's actions: "Mrs. Linde. And since then have you never told your secret to your husband? Nora. Good heavens, no!" (Isben 13)
Another example of dramatic irony in A Doll's House is when Nora wants to practice a dance called the Tarantella. When Torvald goes to look in the letter box Nora says, "Torvald please don't. There is nothing in there." (Isben 46) The reader knows that Nora has not forgotten the dance. The reader knows this when Torvald goes to check the mail and Nora begins to play the Tarantella. Nora then says, "I can't dance to-morrow if I don't practise with you." (Isben 46) The reader knows that all Nora is trying to do is keep Torvald from reading the mail which contains a letter from Krogstad.
Situational irony is also used throughout the two works. In Crime and Punishment Raskolnikov is the one who murdered the two sisters. It was totally unexpected when Nikolai came to the police office and said, "I'm the guilty one! The sin is mine! I'm the murderer!" (Dostoyevsky 413) The reader did not expect Nikolai to confess to the two murders because the reader knows that Raskolnikov is the one who murdered the two sisters. Porfiry did not expect Nikolai to confess either. He was positive that Raskolnikov had murdered the pawnbroker and her sister.
It is also ironic when Raskolnikov goes to the police station and says, "What if it were I who murdered Lizaveta and the old woman?" (Dostoyevsky 211) Zamyotov just sits back and smiles. Raskolnikov then says, "Admit that you believed me! You did didn't you?" (Dostoyevsky 211) "Of course I didn't!