Comparion Between: A Doll's House and Crime and Punishment


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! And now I believe
you even less!" (Dostoyevsky 211) The reader expects Zamyotov to
do his job and arrest Raskolnikov when he confesses to the
murders. Letting Raskolnikov is a surprise to everyone including
himself.

In A Doll's House there are also examples of situational irony. An
example of situational irony is when Nora leaves Torvald. There is
no hint that Nora is going to leave Torvald until the end of the
book. At the beginning of the