Dostoevsky notes from underground essay

See also, Fyodor Dostoevsky Criticism. The novella consists of "notes" on the philosophy and experiences of a retired, embittered recluse living in squalor in St.

Dostoevsky notes from underground essay

Dostoevsky notes from underground essay also, Fyodor Dostoevsky Criticism. Acclaimed as one of the classics of modern literature for its experimental form and style, thematic complexity, and innovative depiction of character psychology, Notes from the Underground is perhaps the most influential of Dostoevsky's works.

The novella consists of "notes" on the philosophy and experiences of a retired, embittered recluse living in squalor in St. In creating the fictional author of the notes, who is commonly designated as the "underground man" by critics, Dostoevsky introduced the anti-hero into Russian fiction and firmly established the archetype of the outsider in world literature.

Yet the philosophical dimension of the novella is only one aspect of a work that also fuses sociology, psychology, and politics. Despite these complexities, Notes from the Underground is perceived as principally sounding a theme that reverberates throughout Dostoevsky's writings: Plot and Major Characters The notes of the underground man consist of two sections, "The Underground," a theoretical creed setting forth the fictional author's personal philosophy, and "Apropos of the Wet Snow," in which he recollects several experiences of his twenty-fourth year that anticipate his present condition and philosophy.

In the course of his diatribe, the fictional author reveals many traits: Although he claims that his first-person, monologic notes are not written for anyone else, he nevertheless addresses an imaginary audience and anticipates its responses, thus giving the work the tenor of dialogue.

In "The Underground," the author attacks contemporary theories on the nature of humanity and refuses to submit to a life defined by laws of reason and science, which he equates with the incogitant passivity of a "piano-key.

The first incident described in "Apropos of the Wet Snow" is an ambiguous encounter with an army officer that the underground man interprets as a personal affront. For two years the narrator plots a revenge that produces equally ambiguous results. The author then relates another story in which he intrudes upon a dinner party held by former schoolmates and proceeds to embarrass himself by insulting the others and flaunting his averred superior intelligence.

When the party subsides, the underground man follows his former schoolmates to a brothel, where he asserts his superiority over a prostitute, Liza also transliterated as Lisawhom he manipulates with a noble speech and a lofty offer of assistance.

Three days later, Liza appears at the underground man's abode, only to realize his meanness and unhappiness.

Dostoevsky notes from underground essay

He is humiliated at having been exposed and is unable to accept her consoling love. Shortly thereafter the notes abruptly end, with the underground man purporting that he will write no more; a comment contradicted by the heretofore silent "editor" of the notes who closes the novella by adding that the underground man "could not help going on.

In What Is To be Done? The underground man, however, attacks this triumph of science and engineering as a symbol of the absence of spontaneity and freedom. In Notes, critics have maintained, Dostoevsky showed the moral and psychological incompatibility of an autonomous personality and the purely deterministic world heralded by Chernyshevsky and other socialist radicals.

The psychological aspects of the novella have also received close attention. Scholars have termed Notes the self-revelation of a pathological personality diversely diagnosed as narcissistic, borderline psychotic, paranoid, compulsive, or repressed. Some critics have found in Dostoevsky's own troubles a basis for the autobiographical, agitated tone of his Notes.

Many have held that the novella disparages the narrow intellectualism and overrefined consciousness that Dostoevsky ascribed to Russians who were, in his estimation, contaminated by the corrupt rationalist trends of western European thought.

Still others have focused on the underground man as a social type representative of individuals unable to establish a bond with humanity: Notes has also been considered an argument for existential choice, and, similarly a protest against utilitarianism, materialism, and positivism.

Many of these diverse thematic strains tend to coalesce in the observations of critics who find at the heart of the underground man's desperation Dostoevsky's own distrust of scientific rationalism as a means of illuminating ethical problems and his deeply-felt Christian spirituality.


Such critics construe Notes as a condemnation of the spiritual malaise of Dostoevsky's era and a theological cry of despair over modern moral disintegration personified in the unredeemed figure of the underground man.

Critical Reception Notes from the Underground was a pivotal work for Dostoevsky for its inauguration of themes prominent in his later novels and its introduction of the acutely self-analytical, spiritually torn hero, who is a prototype for many other of his characters.

However, the importance of Notes extends far beyond its significance in Dostoevsky's career, as evinced in George Steiner's estimation of the novella:The prevalence of reason strongly influenced and inspired Dostoevsky to write Notes from Underground (Marder, Meyer, & Wyshak, n. d.). We will write a custom essay sample on Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground specifically for you.

Notes From Underground Homework Help Questions. Select a quote or small passage from Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky that reveals In trying to pinpoint the complexity of being a. Notes from Underground Fyodor Dostoevsky Notes from Underground literature essays are academic essays for citation.

These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Notes from Underground. Suggested Essay Topics bias can be found in Part I of Notes from Underground?

SparkNotes: Notes from Underground: Suggested Essay Topics

5. Dostoevsky had a great talent for showing his readers the world through the confused eyes of his characters. How does he use this ability to heighten, rather than diminish, the sense of realism in the novel? 6. Though elements of Notes from Underground are. Freedom in Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground In Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground, the Underground Man proposes a radically different conception of free action from that of Kant.

Notes From The Underground In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel, Notes from the Underground, the Underground Man is in a constant struggle between himself.

Not only is he in a constant struggle with his overall self, but he is also at war with others around him in general.

Notes From Underground Critical Essays -