This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Notes From Underground: Binding Limits Essay

1519 words - 6 pages

In Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground, the underground man struggles between two beliefs. The first acknowledges that his fictional existence is predetermined, subject to his author’s conduct. The second opposes that, insisting the underground man can only live in an undetermined world that extols free will, situating it within the human. For a remedy, the underground man turns to writing, hoping to probe into this duality and to not reject any truth that comes forth, horrifying or not. Through this, he understands that his self awareness gives him no control he has over his actions. Even though he doesn’t possess it, the underground man continues to believe in free will. The reader’s acknowledged on the book’s final page when the underground man states we’re no different than him, that his beliefs are ours. This recognition thrusts his self-consciousness onto us readers and turns solipsism on itself, therefore atomizing it. His situation is now ours. I wholly agree with the underground man’s belief that one must realize and accept their own free will along with its integral demands. His exhaustive explanation of determinism’s consequences and reversal of solipsism on itself removed any prior beliefs I had of either’s possibility. Acceptance of these refutations gives his readers a new sense of responsibility; denial, while easier, preserves a solipsistic mindset by removing the possibility to live outside yourself - a sign of weakness now that it's been disproved. Though his story has come to a close, ours will continue, and I along with you have a role to accept and fulfill. According to the underground man, we’re all of us brothers.
In the section titled “Underground,” the underground man discusses the notion of determinism. He states that to accept this theory, one’s actions become stripped from any ulterior motive. “That is to say…life itself, is bound to be nothing other than two times two is four – that is a formula; and two times two is no longer life gentleman, but the beginning of death” (pg 32). Moreover, to believe two times two is four and that the outcome of four is unchangeable within the distance future, is something that the Underground man refutes. For one’s life to have meaning and validity, actions must be understood as non-robotic; an answer to this question must not only be unknown, but more importantly, undecided. He then goes on to say that “consciousness, for example, is infinitely higher than two times two” (pg 33).
As we continue to read, the underground man’s consciousness which desires to rid itself from the notion of determinism produces an ironic situation. As readers, we understand through words and upcoming chapters, his story has already been decided. The underground man can not make conscious decisions because the author has already done so: the underground man is crafted solely from the author’s literary experience. This revelation marks the shift from part one of the book to part two. In part two the...

Find Another Essay On Notes from Underground: Binding Limits

The Pathological Protagonist of Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground

2574 words - 10 pages The Pathological Protagonist of Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground Dostoevsky’s vision of the world is violent and his characters tortured; it is no wonder that many have viewed his work as prophetic of the 20th century. However, though Dostoevsky, in his unflinching portrayal of depravity, gives the Devil some of his best arguments, the Gospel often triumphs. Ivan Karamazov is at least offered the possibility of repentance when kissed

Modern Utopian and Rationality in Notes from Underground

1073 words - 5 pages In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s mordant novella Notes from Underground, the reoccurring themes involving consciousness vs. unconsciousness, suffering, and stagnant philosophical ignorance are utilized to portray the Underground Man as a fantastic representation of an alienated, anti-society being; overall demonstrating the impractical nature of any attempt at an utopian communist civilization. Dostoevsky displays his protagonist, the “Underground Man

Socially Constructed Reality and Meaning in Notes from Underground

1737 words - 7 pages Socially Constructed Reality and Meaning in Notes from Underground Just as the hands in M.C. Escher’s “Drawing Hands” both create and are created by each other, the identity of man and society are mutually interdependent. According to the model described in The Sacred Canopy, Peter Berger believes that man externalizes or creates a social reality that is in turn objectified, or accepted by him as real. This sociological model creates a

Comparing Power and Freedom in Invisible Man and Notes From Underground

3325 words - 13 pages Comparing Power and Freedom in Invisible Man and Notes From Underground       The quest for power is an endless one for humanity.  Countless tales of greed, strife, and triumph stem from this common ambition.  Similarly, men universally seek freedom, a privilege entitling an individual to make independent decisions and express personal opinion.  Exploration of the connection between these two abstract concepts remains a topic of interest

The Enlightment Period of the Age of Reason in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Notes from the Underground

620 words - 3 pages The mid-eighteenth century was the Enlightenment period or the Age of Reason. French philosophes believed that reason could provide critical, informed, scientific solutions to social issues and problems, and basically improve human condition. Notes from Underground, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a famous anti-Enlightenment novel and is famous for rejecting the very notions of the French philosophes. Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground is a story

Review of Live performane:Notes from Underground

1045 words - 4 pages Review # 1.Notes from UndergroundFrom a novel by Fyodor DostoevskyAdapted by Andrew Litzky, Bill Peters, Zoë Inman,Llysa Holland and Rachel Katz CareyCinema (Adelaide University), Fringe Hub25th February 2004Presented by Theatre SimpleDirected by Bill Peters"Having too much consciousness is a disease!" the Underground Man declares, leaving the audience to contemplate what this means; is the mind of the Underground Man diseased? Is his

Fyodor Dostoevsky

1616 words - 6 pages In Fyodor DostoevskyÕs Notes from Underground the underground man is an extremely complex and challenging character. After inspecting the character, one comes to realize that the underground man is composed of several of the dysfunctional qualities that exist in all types of people in society. Dostoevsky created this character, the Òunderground manÓ, in order to expose the shortsightedness of his social circle.Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky’s Notes from Undergound - Reactions to an Overdeterministic Existence

1817 words - 7 pages Dostoevsky’s Notes from Undergound - Reactions to an Overdeterministic Existence Some of the works cited are missing Dostoevsky presents his Notes from Undergound as the fragmented ramblings of an unnamed narrator. On the surface, the character’s narration appears disjointed and reaches no conclusive end ing until the author intercedes to end the book. However, a close examination of the underground man’s language reveals a progression in

The Underground Man

993 words - 4 pages Notes from the Underground is a novel written by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. In this book, Dostoyevsky illustrated his ideals through the words of his literary protagonist, the Underground Man. The Underground Man strikes the readers as a person , and one of the things that he abhors was the way in which progressive thinkers of his era worship reason. This was amusing because at the same time, he does not entirely reject reason. From

The Underground Man's Desire for Misery

1365 words - 5 pages Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground depicts a man who is deeply rooted in a lifestyle of misanthropy and bitterness. He is highly governed by his own burdensome philosophies. The Underground Man (as he will subsequently be referred) lives by the precedent of his own conceptions on how life should be lived. His understanding of the way people should interact socially and how individuals should be engaged emotionally has been thought through

The Underground Railroad

1778 words - 8 pages Documenting The American South. What I learned from this source was that Levi Coffin was better known as the President of the Underground Railroad because of his involvement in the abolitionist movement. As Hoskins notes in this source Coffin and his wife Catherine moved to Wayne County, Indiana where they opened up a store and were first introduced to the Underground Railroad (Hoskins). In 1847 the couple moved to Ohio because Coffin didn’t feel right

Similar Essays

Notes From The Underground Essay

904 words - 4 pages relationship growing up, he goes through life full of shame and self loathing, often falling into existentialism. The Underground Man’s urge for irrational freedom drives most of his actions throughout the book, where he acts upon this urges just because he can. This also reflects on our daily lives, where we sometimes commit senseless acts just to show we are in control of our own lives. Notes From The Underground is in itself a magnificent parody

Notes From The Underground, The Tormented Narrator

851 words - 4 pages The Underground Man is spiteful. He tells us this and we really ought to believe him. The Underground Man is not only bothered by the class system of Russia but he is also plagued by everyone that he happens to glance at. Namely, I think that he is tormented by the fact that he is not free. He will never be free. He is a prisoner of himself. In the first part of Notes from the Underground, the Underground Man spends a vast number of pages

Notes From The Underground By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

2182 words - 9 pages Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short story writer that discussed the psychological state of the human soul in many of his works, one in particular is Notes from the Underground; which was published in 1864 Notes from the Underground, had a great influence in the 20th century; the novel takes a man’s inability to communicate with society and uses it to teach readers about the importance of other humans in

Mary Magdalen Of Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground

2315 words - 9 pages portrayed by Dostoevsky in his novels and short stories. Liza, Dostoevsky's first attempt at portraying a saintly prostitute, makes her appearance in "Notes from Underground," a short story published in 1864. The Underground Man, the narrator of the story, visits the brothel where she works and sleeps with her. In their ensuing conversation, he learns that she is a 20 year-old runaway from Riga who must earn her living as a prostitute in St