T240px-Dostoevskij_1872.jpghe Russian writer Dostoyevsky, the author of Crime and Punishment, was the second of six children. Dostoyevsky's father was a retired military surgeon and a alcoholic, who practiced at the Mariinsky Hospital for the Poor in Moscow. The hospitals were Dostoyevsky’s father worked was located one of the worst areas of the city; local landmarks included a cemetery for criminals, a lunatic asylum, and an orphanage for abandoned infants. This urban setting made a lasting impression on the Dostoyevsky, who had an apparent compassion for the poor and oppressed. This compassion was prevalent in Crime and Punishment. Dostoyevsky liked to wander out to where the suffering patients sat and loved to spend time with these patients and hear their stories.

Dostoyevsky’s childhood had a great influence on his writing. Raskolnikov, a character in Crime and Punishment, encounters many alcoholics and drunks throughout the city. Rather than being disgusted by them as he is by the old pawn broker, who he plans to murder for the greater good, he has sympathy for the drunks and actually gives one money. The man who he gives money to has allowed his daughter to engage in prostitution in order to pay for his own drinking habit while the old women is simply stingy. The setting or a decaying city is prevalent in Crime and Punishment however, Dostoyevsky does not describe it in the great detail he characterizes people. Raskolnikov also appears to have a some mental disorder.