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Frequent Contributor
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space here



IlanaSimons wrote:
Retired psychologist! Wonderful. (I'm in training to become one myself.)




Ahhh... that is why you are listening so much & holding the space.....great.
ziki
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IlanaSimons
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Re: difference between guilt and shame

[ Edited ]

ziki wrote:

IlanaSimons wrote: Dostoevsky seems to have been intrigued with what shame can trigger in us.




Now that is a topic!

Isn't the general distinction between guilt and shame concerned with what is wrong? Guilt: I did something wrong. I harmed someone.
Shame: I (the whole me) is also wrong. I do bad things, I am faulty.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 03-06-200703:06 AM






Yes Ziki--That's what a lot of modern psychological studies are saying: that they're two different states. In Shame, I feel "I'm wrong!" and in Guilt, only "the deed is wrong." So, shame is more crippling. Studies have found that shame forces an avoidance response, a desire to disappear. (Check out how many times in the book Golyadkin says he wants to disappear into a hole in the ground.) People who feel shame also tend to be blame others for shame-inducing events. (I.e. the way Golyadkin can't understand the relationship between himself and events...so he imagines there's a whole other Golyadkin doing things...and blames him for his misfortunes.)

Guilt, on the other hand, can more often motivate us in a more moral direction. Guilty people have a larger impulse to make up for their wrongs, to remain engaged in interpersonal conversation.

Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 03-06-200708:32 AM




Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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PaulK
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Re: difference between guilt and shame



IlanaSimons wrote:

ziki wrote:

IlanaSimons wrote: Dostoevsky seems to have been intrigued with what shame can trigger in us.




Now that is a topic!

Isn't the general distinction between guilt and shame concerned with what is wrong? Guilt: I did something wrong. I harmed someone.
Shame: I (the whole me) is also wrong. I do bad things, I am faulty.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 03-06-200703:06 AM






Yes Ziki--That's what a lot of modern psychological studies are saying: that they're two different states. In Shame, I feel "I'm wrong!" and in Guilt, only "the deed is wrong." So, shame is more crippling. Studies have found that shame forces an avoidance response, a desire to disappear. (Check out how many times in the book Golyadkin says he wants to disappear into a hole in the ground.) People who feel shame also tend to be blame others for shame-inducing events. (I.e. the way Golyadkin can't understand the relationship between himself and events...so he imagines there's a whole other Golyadkin doing things...and blames him for his misfortunes.)

Guilt, on the other hand, can more often motivate us in a more moral direction. Guilty people have a larger impulse to make up for their wrongs, to remain engaged in interpersonal conversation.

Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 03-06-200708:32 AM






It has been about 40 years since I read Crime and Punishment but would you say that was more about guilt than shame?
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IlanaSimons
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Re: difference between guilt and shame



PaulK wrote:
It has been about 40 years since I read Crime and Punishment but would you say that was more about guilt than shame?




What a great question. It's been a really long time for me too, so I'd like other people to jump in here. But I do think Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov does end up with the more moral sense of "guilt" rather than the merely self-protective sense of "shame" in Crime and Punishment. I think some critics have said that that novel moves us from arrogance to acceptance. In the beginning, Raskolnikov kills the pawnbroker because he feels proud--like a leader, exempt from the law, prepared to set his own moral standards. But in the end, he sees that that "independence" was deluded, and that he hurt another human being. Is that true? Do you all think he moves from a sense of arrogant self-love to a more nuanced understanding of how his actions affect other people?



Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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Laurel
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Re: difference between guilt and shame



IlanaSimons wrote:


PaulK wrote:
It has been about 40 years since I read Crime and Punishment but would you say that was more about guilt than shame?




What a great question. It's been a really long time for me too, so I'd like other people to jump in here. But I do think Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov does end up with the more moral sense of "guilt" rather than the merely self-protective sense of "shame" in Crime and Punishment. I think some critics have said that that novel moves us from arrogance to acceptance. In the beginning, Raskolnikov kills the pawnbroker because he feels proud--like a leader, exempt from the law, prepared to set his own moral standards. But in the end, he sees that that "independence" was deluded, and that he hurt another human being. Is that true? Do you all think he moves from a sense of arrogant self-love to a more nuanced understanding of how his actions affect other people?




It's been more than 40 years for me, too, but I think that is what happened to him. And, if I remember correctly, his understanding of his guilt and responsibility led to his repentance and redemption. We all need to read Crime and Punishment again! I've been wondering whether reading it as an adult will be a far different experience from reading it as a teenager.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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SumayyaA
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Re: difference between guilt and shame

As I was reading the threads beginning the discussion on the difference between guilt and shame, the thought of Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment also came into my mind. Having read it a year ago I can say that his character is very much different from Golyadkin. R. after committing the murder, continues on with life even conversing and arguing with investigators very coherently. To the point that they really don't think it could have been him. Although R.'s physical being is affected - he is continually feverish, etc. But there is a sense of guilt, the whole point of the punishment being the crime itself - one can never get away from it.

I have only just finished the first chapter of The Double, and I am only speculating at this point that G. has committed some sort of crime by the way he is behaving. It is obvious that he doesn't know what to do or how to behave.

Interestingly enough, as I write this I realize that the reader is present when the murder takes place in Crime and Punishment - and you ride along on the psychological journey of Raskolnikov. But in The Double even before the you know what Golyadkin has done, you can feel there is something he has done that has caused him to act this way, to feel shame. I think if Crime and Punishment had begun in the same manner it would take much longer to realize that Raskolnikov had committed any sort of crime.

Yes, I think reading Crime and Punishment again, as an adult would be a great idea. I honestly felt it was one of the best reads I have had in years. (It was my first time reading it though).
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IlanaSimons
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Re: difference between guilt and shame

Terrific post, SumayyaA.
There is definitely some sense of a crime from the begining of "The Double." In Ch 2, Golyadkin cryptically tells his doctor, "They plotted the murder of someone.... the moral murder of someone" (20-21).
But the plot itself doesn't center on some clear crime like Crime and Punishment does. I'll be interested to see how the backdrop of criminality plays out for you as you read.
In "The Double," if anyone committed a crime, he probably didn't mean to. I don't know if you've read Kafka, but this was definitely a theme Kafka inherited from this story: a pervading sense of some damning crime, without any real crime having been committed. It's just the burden of human consciousness....
Though anyone who's familiar with Dostoevsky's religious beliefs, in contrast to Kafka's less-religious beliefs, should chime in here.
We've got characters who feel terribly guilty, for no good reason.


the

SumayyaA wrote:
As I was reading the threads beginning the discussion on the difference between guilt and shame, the thought of Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment also came into my mind. Having read it a year ago I can say that his character is very much different from Golyadkin. R. after committing the murder, continues on with life even conversing and arguing with investigators very coherently. To the point that they really don't think it could have been him. Although R.'s physical being is affected - he is continually feverish, etc. But there is a sense of guilt, the whole point of the punishment being the crime itself - one can never get away from it.

I have only just finished the first chapter of The Double, and I am only speculating at this point that G. has committed some sort of crime by the way he is behaving. It is obvious that he doesn't know what to do or how to behave.

Interestingly enough, as I write this I realize that the reader is present when the murder takes place in Crime and Punishment - and you ride along on the psychological journey of Raskolnikov. But in The Double even before the you know what Golyadkin has done, you can feel there is something he has done that has caused him to act this way, to feel shame. I think if Crime and Punishment had begun in the same manner it would take much longer to realize that Raskolnikov had committed any sort of crime.

Yes, I think reading Crime and Punishment again, as an adult would be a great idea. I honestly felt it was one of the best reads I have had in years. (It was my first time reading it though).





Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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Laurel
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Re: difference between guilt and shame



IlanaSimons wrote:
Terrific post, SumayyaA.
There is definitely some sense of a crime from the begining of "The Double." In Ch 2, Golyadkin cryptically tells his doctor, "They plotted the murder of someone.... the moral murder of someone" (20-21).
But the plot itself doesn't center on some clear crime like Crime and Punishment does. I'll be interested to see how the backdrop of criminality plays out for you as you read.
In "The Double," if anyone committed a crime, he probably didn't mean to. I don't know if you've read Kafka, but this was definitely a theme Kafka inherited from this story: a pervading sense of some damning crime, without any real crime having been committed. It's just the burden of human consciousness....
Though anyone who's familiar with Dostoevsky's religious beliefs, in contrast to Kafka's less-religious beliefs, should chime in here.
We've got characters who feel terribly guilty, for no good reason.


the

SumayyaA wrote:
As I was reading the threads beginning the discussion on the difference between guilt and shame, the thought of Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment also came into my mind. Having read it a year ago I can say that his character is very much different from Golyadkin. R. after committing the murder, continues on with life even conversing and arguing with investigators very coherently. To the point that they really don't think it could have been him. Although R.'s physical being is affected - he is continually feverish, etc. But there is a sense of guilt, the whole point of the punishment being the crime itself - one can never get away from it.

I have only just finished the first chapter of The Double, and I am only speculating at this point that G. has committed some sort of crime by the way he is behaving. It is obvious that he doesn't know what to do or how to behave.

Interestingly enough, as I write this I realize that the reader is present when the murder takes place in Crime and Punishment - and you ride along on the psychological journey of Raskolnikov. But in The Double even before the you know what Golyadkin has done, you can feel there is something he has done that has caused him to act this way, to feel shame. I think if Crime and Punishment had begun in the same manner it would take much longer to realize that Raskolnikov had committed any sort of crime.

Yes, I think reading Crime and Punishment again, as an adult would be a great idea. I honestly felt it was one of the best reads I have had in years. (It was my first time reading it though).







Dostoevsky wroth "The Double" before the time of his near-death experience and his imprisonment. I don't think he had much of a religious life at that time. He had experienced the loss of his mother to disease, however, and his father had been violently murdered by his serfs for his drunken rages and lechery, so there certainly would have been a sense of loss and, perhaps, shame. By the time he wrote "Crime and Punishment," Dostoevsky was a different man.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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