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Notes From The Underground Essay

904 words - 4 pages

The Underground Man is alone because he has chosen to be; he is hyper-conscious, meaning he is too aware and over analyses everything – his biggest worries are petty compared to what is going around him. As a society, we worry so much about ourselves and our own persona, we sometimes become paranoid. A perfect example is given when the Underground Man is on the verge of having dinner with his old comrades and he notices a stain on his trousers “The worst of it was that on the knee of my trousers was a bug yellow stain. I had a foreboding that that stain deprive me of nine-tenths of my personal dignity.” (NU 48) He immediately panics as he worries about whether his friends will see it, and ...view middle of the document...

From early on in the book, the Underground Man clearly states he often puts a façade because he does not know how to act or be a certain way –”It was not only that I could not become spiteful, I did not know how to become anything; neither spiteful nor kind, neither a rascal nor an honest man, neither a hero nor an insect.. …” (NU 2) However, because he pretends to act out of spite the book to has a somber, sharp and even aggrieved tone. He is resentful toward those around him, from his elderly servant Apollon, whom he thinks to be extremely vain and judges him constantly, to Zverkov, an old schoolmate who has done well for himself and is liked by all his friends. He describes Zverkov as stupid and imprudent during his youth days and is now jealous of his wealth and confidence. He constantly looks down on people and his tone can even be perceived as arrogant, especially when he is confronting Liza after waking up together. However, when speaking of himself, his tone shifts to one of sorrow and anger, making the reader feel sorry for him, since he constantly feels bad about himself –“I am a sick man…. I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man.” (NU 1) Diction plays an important role too, as everything he describes is always gloomy and dark, from his old, stained clothes to the rainy and cloudy weather; this helps the reader picture the setting as one of grayness and unhappiness. The author also uses literary methods such as repetition to emphasize the main idea of free will. For example, in the beginning of the book, Dostoevsky lists several projects and attempts at a...

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