Perhaps more than any other part of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, the following grabbed my attention and brought goosebumps. To those who have see it, this exerpt can’t help but remind them of Kurosawa’s Red Beard. Though more influenced by the Russian master’s The Insulted and Injured, this is the sentiment that fuels that film, embodied by Katerina Ivanovna as praised by her daughter Sonia:
“She is seeking righteousness, she is pure. She has such faith that there must be righteousness everywhere and she expects it. …And if you were to torture her, she wouldn’t do wrong. She doesn’t see that it’s impossible for people to be righteous and is angry at it. Like a child, like a child. She is good!”
In a book otherwise filled with weak and morally lacking characters, here is the bright shining star: one who not only believes in the possibility of goodness, but is angry when it isn’t there. I’m not sure that I’ve ever encountered a more apropos description of my own wife than this.