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Notes from Underground

Uploaded by abstractspace on May 03, 2004

"Notes from Underground" by Dostoevsky:

"Notes from Underground" by Dostoevsky is a story about a man who is the opposite of everything that you would expect from the protagonist of a book. The first chapter introduces the reader to "The Underground Man" as many call him, for he has no name. He describes himself as sick and spiteful, but later takes it back and says he only wishes that he were. He believes his conscience to be overdeveloped because he was so exposed to culture. He believes in determinism, or predestination. That is, the laws of nature govern everything, so no one has any free will. He wishes to be able to be vengeful, because he knows he cannot. Because of his conscience, he knows he could never do something as mean as having revenge. He covers most topics. For more examples, he talks about how he hates the laws of nature because there is never anyone to blame for anything, because their actions are governed by nature. He uses the example of a toothache to explain the laws of nature. When you have a toothache, there is nothing you can do about it, but the average person moans. He concludes that anyone that is conscious will humiliate himself or herself because they are powerless against nature. He eventually argues that people who are conscious get bored because they realize that they have absolutely no control over what happens. If you deceive yourself into believing that you do have control, when you realize you were wrong, you get mad at yourself. So, you have to choices in life: hate yourself, or become very bored. He then goes on to criticize utopian theories, basically saying that even if we somehow managed to create a utopian society, everyone would tear it down for three reasons. First of all, it would be boring. Second of all, it would infuriate everyone because they would realize that they have totally predictable natures; and because of this, they would realize that they have no control over their life. Lastly, no one wants to live in a structure they have created. We strive towards utopian society because it is a goal, and if it were attained, humans would have nothing left to strive for, so they would start over. This is where part I ends, just before he mentions that there is an episode of his life that...

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Uploaded by:   abstractspace

Date:   05/03/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (840 words)

Views:   10190

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