Everyone is broke and both debt and alcohol seem like the primary villains so far.
So in the first chapter we get the story of poor super sad Sonya who is turned to a life of prostitution by her super alcoholic dad and mean stepmother. Sonya reads as hyper angelic (reminding me a little of Rachel in Charles Dickens’s Hard Times, syrupy sweet), although the image of her curling up on the bed after her first night on the job was quite heart-wrenching. Her story is mostly told by the drunk dad, though we do get some in person confirmation at the end.
Then in chapter 3 we get a different girl’s story of “taking one for the team” — this time it is Raskolnikov’s sister Dunya who took a horrible job to help him out financially and was sexually propositioned by her boss, and run out of the house with all her junk in a wheelbarrow in the rain, until the truth came out and she was vindicated like the ANGEL her mother is sure she is. Now a new guy is engaged to her despite apparently four hundred major red flags. This story of another sad girl trying to support her family by selling her love is again told by a parent we pretty much don’t trust (his mom, in a letter).
Again after each of these emotional stories Raskolnikov has a reaction of wanting to help, but also has mental conflict about what he should think.
If this has humor, it’s pretty subtle so far. Poor Sonya and Dunya.