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Notes from Underground | Study Guide

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Fyodor Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

Narrator, Part 1, Chapter 10 am not going to bow and scrape before you. I have the underground. Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Fyodor Dostoevsky: An Analysis of Existentialism within Notes from Underground” by Yelizaveta Rapoport, Resurrection from the Underground: Feodor Dostoevsky by René Girard Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc. St. Petersburg & Wet Snow Represent misguided admiration for Western European culture Piano Key As it plays one note, symbolizes how a rational person acts a certain way The Crystal Palace Represents rigid uniformity, rationality, and Western culture Symbols Zverkov Officer whose success and indifference infuriate the Underground Man; object of his elaborate revenge plan Liza Poor, innocent young prostitute; falls prey to the Underground Man as he pretends to save her but actually seeks to destroy her The Underground Man Anonymous, pessimistic loner who rejects rigid egoism and absurd romanticism; suffers because of his self-imposed alienation Main Characters One of Russia’s greatest writers, Dostoevsky was arrested for subversion. As a prisoner he had a brush with a firing squad that profoundly affected his life and work. His writings, which also include Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, deal with issues of religion, social control, identity, and morality. FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY1821–81 Author Free will is absent when feeling, instinct, and emotion are paramount. Romanticism The Underground Man insists on free will and creates his own meaning. Human Nature & Free Will Human behavior is predetermined by reason, science, and math—there’s no free will. Rational Egoism The Underground Man is an embittered recluse who has rejected social norms that restrict human freedom. He rails in furious outrage against society’s rigid rules of behavior, from soulless rationality to lack of authentic feeling. I Reject Society’s Straitjacket! THEMES Russian Original Language 1864 Year Published Fyodor Dostoevsky Author Notes from Underground Satire Novel

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