Crime and Punishment Questions and Answers
by Fyodor Dostoevsky

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In what ways does the character Luzhin from "Crime and Punishment" reveal something about Raskolnikov?

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Luzhin, Dunya’s wealthy fiancé, has a unique relationship to Raskolnikov (Rodya). Unlike Rodya’s more apparent foils (Razumikhin portraying his “good” side and Svidrigailov portraying his “bad” side), Luzhin doesn’t share particular qualities with the protagonist.

Upon first hearing about Luzhin through Pulcheria’s letter, Rodya despises Luzhin for his brash, disrespectful, and pitiful treatment of his beloved sister. Seeing Rodya’s vivid reaction to this letter demonstrates the humanity Rodya still has in him despite murdering Alyona; he genuinely loves his sister and seeks to protect her from this evil man.

Rodya’s view of Luzhin remains negatively skewed after meeting in person as they continue to disagree with one another. After quarrels, like when Luzhin asks Rodya to not attend a meal with Dunya and Pulcheria, Rodya “teams up” with Svidragailov, who shares his similar interests in breaking up Dunya’s engagement. Although first characterized as a caring and loving act, Rodya’s agreement with Svidragailov on this matter taints his goodwill towards his sister.

Once Dunya and Luzhin are finally separated, Luzhin only appears one final time, framing Sonya (Rodya’s true love) for stealing. This weak attempt at embarrassing Rodya shows how Luzhin has hit rock-bottom. This disgraceful act reveals the disgrace plaguing Rodya for murdering Alyona. In the end, however, Rodya is able to repent for his sins through Christianity and Sonya’s love as opposed to Luzhin, who leaves in shame.

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