I just finished Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, and I loved it (of course).
I would like to bring into analysis the role of Lizaveta, the pawnbroker's half sister who is accidentally killed by Raskolnikov. More specifically I'd like to understand in a better way how this episode (the killing of an innocent person) really influenced the rest of the book. In fact, it seems to me (but I may be wrong) that what started as a potentially huge plot twist, later became less central or crucial to the book message. Let's put it like this: what would have happened if Raskolnikov only killed the evil pawnbroker and got away with it? One may say that all his immediate, post-murder, anxieties and second thoughts would have been much less severe and debilitating! He also felt empathetic towards the poor Lizaveta, almost enslaved by her sister. So my (wrong?) guess is that his hypothetical perfect crime would change the story quite a bit. Raskolnikov is indeed convinced (up to his typical overthinking) until the very end of the book (Siberia chapters) that killing the pawnbroker was not a bad thing at all. But here's the thing I don't get. In the book, especially the second part, it's more about the crime in itself, not much about the poor dead innocent. It feels to me that Lizaveta's death could have been used much more than it actually was, to work towards and to explain Raskolnikov's redemption.. for instance. But again it's not perceived to me as a very important fact in the end: Raskolnikov turns himself in because of his murder, it seems that with or without Lizaveta's death he would have done so anyway.
What do you think? Am I misinterpreting something? Or is this really the point of the book, that killing is wrong anyway?