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Story of the Underground Man

Story of the Underground Man

The Underground Man when confronted with reality sinks into his world of fantasy, and yet, realizes the depth of his fantasy in the real world.

The Underground Man went to all sorts of strange places in an effort to amuse himself. Once he saw a man being thrown out of a window of a tavern and entered the tavern in the hopes that someone would throw him out of the window as well. Upon entering the tavern he is moved aside by an officer who fail to even notice him. This refusal to notice him was worse than if he had gotten a beating. What the Underground Man wanted was a quarrel in the literary sense, but he was simply ignored as if he did not exist. This sort of thing would not occur in the fantasies books he read, and so the Underground Man was insulted by the officer’s behavior.

The Underground Man realized that all he had to do to seek a confrontation with the officer was protest, “and they surely would have thrown me out of the window…”. The Underground knew that he was not a “coward at heart,” but he was fearful of being humiliated and laughed at by his peers. The Underground really wanted to protest being moved aside and ignored by the officer, but he was fearful of doing so because he would have been forced to speak about a “point of honor,” which he could not have done unless he spoke about it in literary terms, this “ literary language” did not exist in ordinary everyday speech. The Underground realized that his way of seeing the world was different from ordinary folks, and that “point of honor” was something that did not exist in reality, but was invented through books. It was here that the Underground Man realized that if he persisted in his confrontation with the officer, using literary language, people would of “split their sides with laughter…before he [officer] might…throw me out the window.”

The officer thus becomes the subject of the Underground Man’s hatred; he follows the officer around seeking some sought of revenge, because he cannot handle being ignored. As a result, the Underground Man planned a plot carefully, and the success of the plot depended on whether the officer noticed him or not....

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Category:   Stories

Length:   14 pages (3,178 words)

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