Jul 11, 2019 in Literature

Internal and External Moments in Novels

Humans intend to react to matters that occur in their lives in a manner that best suits their desires. Naturally, the goals that one has set for himself motivates him to act towards the most impossible points of consideration especially towards that of the ones that redefine the being that they basically want to become for themselves. Although they may be some certain influential matters that might affect the changes in their decisions, it could not be denied that their desires remain to be the primary source of their understanding with regards the most crucial decisions that they have to make in their lives so as to reach their goals.

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In most written works, it could be observed that authors fancy the idea of utilizing this theme to present their characters and their attitudes towards facing life’s unavoidable challenges. Showing how a person tries to struggle towards the betterment of each situation for the sake of staying within the lane that leads them to the fulfillment of their personal mission that they may have set for themselves to attain. True, each individual has a personal standard that he considers as a source of guidance that would be able to provide him the right chance he needs to grasp the best out of what life has to offer. In the novels Peace like a River and Crime and Punishment, the main characters Rodion [Crime and Punishment] and Reuben [Peace like a River] have had their own chances of seeing through life and noting what it could offer them. Although they took different paths as individuals, they both learned the same thing in the process; and that is the idea on life providing the best chances for one to develop and one needing to take the step towards getting ahead of the said opportunities provided.

In the discussion that follows, a brief overview on how the said characters chose to face life’s challenges shall be presented.  In accordance with this, a contrasting description on how their internal and external moments basically influenced their reactions to particular situations that were presented to them by life. This descriptive discussion is aimed towards creating a more vivid picture that could best describe how the internal and external environment of a person drives him to embrace the personality that he is living with. Through basing the discussion on the lives and the being of Reuben and Rodion, this presentation shall show the correlative being of a person having the strength but fewer opportunities in comparison with that of a person not having the physical strength but having the moral support of a loving father who is willing to sacrifice all for his son.

About Peace Like a River

Reuben is considered as one blessed being because of his father. Throughout the story, it has been implied that Reuben survived so much amidst his physical weakness because of the existence of his loving father Jeremiah. Practically, it could be observed that somehow, Reuben has been remaining alive all because of his father as well. The miracles that happened to him has been caused by an external being who was merely aiming to protect him from any harm as response to paternal responsibilities that he wants to complete. In their journey of looking for his brother Davy who was captured and incarcerated because of murder [who later on escaped prison], it has been further manifested how Jeremiah loved Reuben so much. Finding the right mother for Reuben and his siblings was one of the miracles that Jeremiah has brought in to Reuben’s life. The assurance that there would be a mother to protect him and his siblings has been a dream come true that basically gave Reuben a chance to live a life that is well cared for. The intensity of the situation was rather imposed to have a great effect on the development of Reuben as a child and as a brother to his siblings. However, not everything went smoothly up to the end of the story. Reuben’s involvement with his brother Davy placed him and his father in a crucial situation that almost took his life. His father, Jeremiah, was instead the one who swam into death so as to save Reuben from being perished even though the shot to his chest was more fatal compared to that of the injuries that his father has incurred during the encounter.

Through this story, it has been strongly imposed that external moments in a person’s life basically creates a more vindicating indication that the success that one might embrace could be given particular boost by those people who are living around him. Naturally, Reuben’s father was likely putting a shell of protection all over him to assure that even though he was physically weak, he would have a better chance of experiencing life in a more leveled manner that would best provide him the opportunities he needs to live life to the fullest.

About Crime and Punishment

Crime and punishment’s plot focused on the life and the dealings of the young man named Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov was more of a depictive representation on how a man stands to protect his own goals through the motivation of internal understanding of his position in life. Being a young man who knew what he wanted but was not given enough opportunity to experience the satisfaction over the said goals, Rodion needed to face life in a rather rough manner. He had to experience the need to balance matters simply to create a picture that would best adhere to his personal desires of success.

Throughout the story’s plot, Rodion was subjected to the need of creating balance upon himself and the ways by which he redefines morality and measuring the balance between good and bad. His decision to murder a pawn master due to the fact that he could use the money to redeem himself from the poverty he was experiencing and practically ending the lecherous being of the pawn master shows how serious he was in getting what he want that he was able to set a justification over the murder of a person whom he believes is not worth the life he has been given.

In the end, it has been shown that Rodion has pursued his desire although his personal standards kept on reminding him of the possible consequences of the situation. His decision leads him to being sentenced to servitude in Serbia where his loving partner Sonya followed him and waited for him until the sentence was completed. Considerably, this story ended well for Rodion. Has he not followed what his heart desired; he would not be able to live a life that is free from all the doubts towards his safety and that of his partner’s. Along with this, he would also be continuously enchained with the thought of not having the chance to fight for what he thinks is right and just has he not ended the life of that pawn master.

What the Journeys of the Characters Impose Regarding Human Attitude

As observed properly from the plot of the stories observed, internal and external moments both contribute to the being of a person and the attitude he develops towards the need of facing the different challenges that life offers. Practically, these elements of effect influence the thoughts of a person hence creating a more definite source of strength among individuals as to whether or not they are to stick to the goals that they have set for themselves. Rodion may have taken the wrong way in the eyes of those who might have not experienced his personal dealings with the pawn master, however, for those who do understand his position and his idealisms, they would likely say that his decisions were practically called for and responding towards the said call has made his life much freer from the chains of being doubtful with his life and his being.

Reuben on the other hand has been well given protection by his father, ensured of a better life that is set before him. It is now in Reuben’s position to actually find an inner source of motivation to make all the sacrifices of his father worth the while thus giving him the chances to better define the personal being that he ought to live with. It is with his willingness to find the best out of what has been given to him by his father and work towards its worth through an inner motivation that the sacrifices of his father would be of much meaning to his life.


Humans would practically depend on external support, but it is their internal command of their personal lives that would define the path that they are to take in life. True, one might be given all the support he needs but the real effect of such matters would only be realized well if the person would find it in himself to work towards the path he needs to take for assured satisfaction and success in the future. Solely relying on external support is never enough. The way one personally works towards an achievement or a fulfillment of a goal is the one sure matter that would make life worth living. 

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