The character of Razumikhin also acts as a foil to Raskolnikov. Indeed, Crime and Punishment is replete with foils for the story's protagonist . Razumikhin's name comes from the Russian word for "reason." This gives us a clue as to his personality. But unlike his friend, his reason is ultimately...
The character of Razumikhin also acts as a foil to Raskolnikov. Indeed, Crime and Punishment is replete with foils for the story's protagonist. Razumikhin's name comes from the Russian word for "reason." This gives us a clue as to his personality. But unlike his friend, his reason is ultimately grounded in faith, and not a nihilistic worldview. He's an ex-student, and like Raskolnikov lives in considerable poverty. Despite this, he appears much more comfortable in his own skin, much more at ease in a society from which Raskolnikov has become isolated. In fact, Razumikhin's kind and considerate nature serves to highlight just how isolated his friend really is. This is what makes him a foil.
At one point in the book Razumikhin gets drunk and starts behaving boorishly. Yet the next day he is incredibly embarrassed at his behavior and feels guilty about it. It's this genuine feeling of remorse that sets him apart from Raskolnikov. Razumikhin has acted foolishly, and even then it was only because he was drunk. Whereas Raskolnikov has committed two murders and yet still hasn't shown any genuine remorse.
The simplicity and nobility of Razumikhin's character stand as a marked contrast to the deep psychological complexity of his friend:
Razhumikhin had the gift of being able to express his character instantly and entirely, no matter what mood he happened to be in, and people quickly knew with whom they were dealing.
People know where they stand with Razumikhin, the kind, rational, well-adjusted young man whom everyone naturally trusts. By contrast, no one can really trust Raskolnikov as he doesn't trust anyone himself. Razumikhin's innate goodness means that he has no hesitation helping out Raskolnikov's family after he has abandoned them. And he turns out to be much more protective towards Dunya than her brother; his protectiveness towards her illuminates Raskolnikov's relative indifference. Razumikhin's kindness in relation to Dunya is of much greater value than anything that Raskolnikov has ever done for her. And to think that one of Raskolnikov's justifications for murdering the old money-lender was to help his sister out financially and prevent her from having to sell herself.
Razumikhin's extraordinary kindness destroys any vestige of nobility that may have attached itself to Raskolnikov's murderous act. He, in his own way, has shown Raskolnikov the true path, providing him with an insight into what he ought to have done.