Jen Marder, Mike Meyer, and Fred Wyshak Arguably one of the greatest novelists in history, Fyodor Dostoevsky is especially notable for interweaving deep philosophical, psychological and theological threads into his brilliant fiction. As a result, his works become much more than stimulating, entertaining stories but actual representation of 19th century intellectual history. This can not be any more true for his most philosophical work of all, Notes from Underground.
The novel is divided into two parts. The introduction to the chapters propounds a number of riddles whose meanings are further developed as the narration continues. Chapters 2, 3 and 4 deal with suffering and the irrational pleasure of suffering. Chapters 5 and 6 discuss the moral and intellectual fluctuation the narrator feels along with his conscious insecurities regarding "inertia"—inaction.
Chapters 7, 8 and 9 cover theories of reason and logic, closing with the last two chapters as a summary and transition into Part 2. The narrator's desire for happiness is exemplified by his liver pain and toothache.
The narrator mentions that utopian society removes suffering and pain, but man desires both things and needs them to be happy. According to the narrator, removing pain and suffering in society takes away a man's freedom.
This parallels Raskolnikov 's behavior in Dostoevsky's later novel, Crime and Punishment. He says that the cruelty of society makes human beings moan about pain only to spread their suffering to others. He builds up his own paranoia to the point that he is incapable of looking his co-workers in the eye.
He feels that others like him exist, but he continuously concentrates on his spitefulness instead of on actions that would help him avoid the problems that torment him. He even admits that he would rather be inactive out of laziness. To the reader, the Underground Man has a contradictory personality because he gives the reader concepts that are commendable, but the reader is repulsed by his actions later in the novel.
The first part also gives a harsh criticism of determinism and intellectual attempts at dictating human action and behavior by logic which the Underground Man mentions in terms of a simple math problem two times two makes four see also necessitarianism. He states that despite humanity's attempt to create the "Crystal Palace," a reference to a famous symbol of utopianism in Nikolai Chernyshevsky 's What Is to Be Done?
The Underground Man ridicules the type of enlightened self-interest egoism, selfishness that Chernyshevsky proposes as the foundation of Utopian society.
The concept of cultural and legislative systems relying on this rational egoism is what the protagonist despises.
The Underground embraces this ideal in praxisand he seems to blame it for his current state of unhappiness. In other works, Dostoevsky again confronts the concept of free will and constructs a negative argument to validate free will against determinism in the character Kirillov's suicide in his novel The Demons.
Notes from Underground marks the starting point of Dostoevsky's move from psychological and sociological themed novels to novels based on existential and general human experience in crisis. The first is his obsession with an officer who frequently passes by him on the street, seemingly without noticing his existence.
He sees the officer on the street and thinks of ways to take revenge, eventually borrowing money to buy a higher class overcoat and bumping into the officer to assert his equality. To the Underground Man's surprise, however, the officer does not seem to notice that it even happened.
The second segment is a going away dinner party with some old school friends to bid Zverkov, one of their number, goodbye as he is being transferred out of the city. The underground man hated them when he was younger, but after a random visit to Simonov's, he decides to meet them at the appointed location.
They fail to tell him that the time has been changed to six instead of five, so he arrives early.
He gets into an argument with the four of them after a short time, declaring to all his hatred of society and using them as the symbol of it.
At the end, they go off without him to a secret brothel, and, in his rage, the underground man follows them there to confront Zverkov once and for all, regardless if he is beaten or not.
He arrives at the brothel to find Zverkov and the others already retired with prostitutes to other rooms. He then encounters Liza, a young prostitute, with whom he goes to bed. The story cuts to Liza and the underground man lying silently in the dark together. 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 1she 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.
The thought of dying such a terribly disgraceful death brings her to realize her position, and she then finds herself enthralled by the underground man's seemingly poignant grasp of the destructive nature of society.Notes from Underground is a novella by Fyodor Dostoevsky that was first published in Notes from Underground (pre-reform Russian: Записки изъ подполья; post-reform Russian: Записки из подполья, tr.
Zapíski iz podpólʹya), also translated as Notes from the Underground or Letters from the Underworld, is an novella by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Read dostoevskys notes from the underground Learn more about characters, symbols, and themes in all your favorite books with Course Hero's FREE study guides and infographics! Explore. Frequently Viewed Documents from University of Minnesota, Crookston. 1 pages. Notes from the Underground By Fyodor Dostoevsky Notes from the Underground Part I Underground* *The author of the diary and the diary itself are, of course, neither a rascal nor an honest man, neither a hero nor an insect.
Now, I am living out my life in my corner, taunting. Check Out Our Dostoevskys Notes from Underground Essay What are the heroic qualities which make difference from other characters in a society?
A dissonant cord is . Notes from Underground was first published in January and February of as the featured presentation in the first two issues of The Epoch, Dostoevsky's second journal of the 's.