Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary

Though he generally avoids crowds, even more so of late, Raskolnikov suddenly has a desire to be with other people. Something new is happening inside him, and with it comes a thirst for company. After a month of his own wretchedness, he is glad to be somewhere else—even in this awful tavern.

Often a chance meeting with a stranger is interesting even before it happens, and that is the impression Raskolnikov has about the man who appears to be a retired government clerk sitting some distance away from him. Afterwards, he will recall this feeling, even calling it a presentiment. Though he clearly disdains everyone else in the room, the middle-aged man is staring persistently at Raskolnikov, as if he wants to engage in a...

(The entire section is 1048 words.)