An analysis of fyodor dostoyevskys notes from the underground
One time went into a tavern hoping to get into a fight. This section serves as an introduction to the character of the Underground Man, explaining his theories about his antagonistic position toward society. Part 2: "Apropos of the Wet Snow"[ edit ] The second part of the story consists of three main segments that lead to a furthering of the Underground Man's consciousness.
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What the Underground Man wants is not scientific certainty, but the freedom to choose his own way of life. Here the Underground Man digresses to talk about the Russian romantics and attack them for having ideals that they never actually act on. Here the Underground Man decides to end his notes. Realizing what he had done, the Underground Man rushed out after her to beg her forgiveness. The Underground Man invited himself to the party even though he had always hated Zverkov and had not seen him since their school days. Notes from Underground is divided into two sections. Eventually Liza broke down and began to cry. The next day the Underground Man was troubled by the fear that Liza might come to see him. Then, in a confused attempt at social interaction, the Underground Man deliberately follows some school acquaintances to a dinner where he is not wanted, alternately insulting them openly and craving their attention and friendship.
She promised to do so. He hated his coworkers and thought that they were repulsive. Suffering, the Underground Man argues, is enjoyable, particularly when you're conscious of it.
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The Underground Man then questions the utopian claim that well-being is always to one's best advantage, suggesting instead that suffering is the cause of consciousness and that human beings will never renounce it. That in itself, however, does not make it desirable. Sometimes he would think that his anti-social nature was artificial and would attempt to befriend his coworkers, but this always ended quickly. He has become disillusioned with all philosophy. To lead in to Part II, the Underground Man says that it has been snowing for a long time and this reminds him of an episode in his life that he now wants to write about. They fail to tell him that the time has been changed to six instead of five, so he arrives early. Liza realizes how pitiful he is and tenderly embraces him. By the time he gets there, the men are gone. He suffers and proclaims pleasure in it. Here the Underground Man describes his interactions with other people. He then made many attempts to walk into the officer and finally succeeded. The utopians might reply that science will show that free will does not exist. In the face of utilitarianism, man will do nasty and unproductive things simply to prove that his free will is unpredictable and therefore completely free. We wouldn't be satisfied with perfection, because there would be nothing left to do.
Such a society would have to be formulated on the theory that man is a rational being who always acts for his best advantage. The point the Underground Man makes is that the people will ultimately always rebel against a collectively perceived idea of paradise; individuals dreaming of a utopian image such as The Crystal Palace will always conflict because of the underlying irrationality of humanity.
The Underground Man wraps up his Notes by saying that this work is not a novel because it presents an anti-hero and not a hero.
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An appended note apparently written by someone other than the Underground Man informs us that, actually, he couldn't stop writing, but at least for readers, "it seems to us that we may stop here. He fantasized that either they will all fall at his feet and beg for his friendship, or he will slap Zverkov in the face. The Underground Man then goes home and, for a week or two, has a strained tiff with his servant Apollon, whom he also hates. The Underground Man argues that underlying the gilded understanding of society is what he tells Liza will end up leading her down a calamitous path and ultimately destroy her. He is aware that he is so overcome by inertia that he cannot even become wicked enough to be a scoundrel, or insignificant enough to be an insect, or lazy enough to be a true lazybones. He hated his coworkers and thought that they were repulsive. Before the flashbacks start, however, he complains for a while about Romanticism. This parallels Raskolnikov 's behavior in Dostoevsky's later novel, Crime and Punishment. The sentence structure can at times seem "multi-layered"; the subject and the verb are often at the very beginning of the sentence before the object goes into the depths of the narrator's thoughts. He would love to be a sluggard, or a glutton who sat around drinking to everything "beautiful and sublime. The next day the Underground Man was troubled by the fear that Liza might come to see him. The Underground Man confronts Liza with an image of her future, by which she is unmoved at first, but after challenging her individual utopian dreams similar to his ridicule of The Crystal Palace in Part 1 , she eventually realizes the plight of her position and how she will slowly become useless and will descend more and more, until she is no longer wanted by anyone. Life consists of creating, striving, and searching.
Instantly, however, an officer moved him out of the way and passed by him without noticing him. The novel's style is also linked to the St. Many people, for example, need to suffer and are ennobled by suffering; yet, the scientist and the rationalist want to remove suffering from their utopian society, thereby removing something that man passionately desires.
We move into Part II, which is made up of the Underground Man's reminiscences back to when he was 24 years old.
Notes from underground quotes
Almost instantly, however, he reverses his position, claiming instead that he is not at all spiteful but merely wanted to be. He says that the cruelty of society makes human beings moan about pain only to spread their suffering to others. The only response to this powerlessness is spite. Are we to understand his views as the product of his wasted life or independently? As the Underground Man was about to assault Apollon, Liza walked in. The Underground Man considers that we may someday figure out all the laws of nature, and then be able to predict what everyone will do, think, and want. Upon leaving, he gave Liza his address and told her to visit him. He knew that he could not keep up the pretense of the previous night. When Liza comes to visit the Underground Man in his shoddy apartment several days later, he reacts with shame and anger when he realizes she has reason to pity or look down upon him. The Underground Man ridicules the type of enlightened self-interest egoism, selfishness that Chernyshevsky proposes as the foundation of Utopian society. This officer frequently passes by him on the street, seemingly without noticing his existence. The Underground Man argues that human beings will never agree to act according to tables and that they will destroy this utopia. Crudely, he gave her five rubles for her services, but before she left, she crumpled the five-ruble note and left it on his table. He then began to quarrel with his servant, Apollon , who had excessive dignity and looked down on the Underground Man.
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