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Contradiction In Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Notes From Underground

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In Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, Notes from Underground, we are presented with a complicated character named The Underground Man. He is exceedingly egocentric and believes that he is more intelligent than those in his surroundings. Despite all this, he is also a man who hates himself and often times feels humiliated. As a person who has isolated himself from society, he consistently analyzes and critiques every interaction with another person. For example, when an officer casually shoves the Underground Man In order to deescalate the situation in the tavern, the Underground Man takes offence to this and plots a long term solution to a meniscal problem. Rather than moving on with his life, he draws up plans to exact his revenge on the officer who probably doesn’t know he exists. These kinds of actions would be supported by Dostoyevsky because it requires strategic and calculated planning for the success of the mission. Liza, on the other hand, is a prostitute who…show more content…
Liza, for example, treasures the qualities of romantic love while the Underground Man is incapable of love. The Underground Man’s consistent theme of contradiction is exemplified throughout the story where he experiences a multitude of emotions ranging from narcissistic and egocentric to embarrassment and humiliation. Although the Underground Man envisions himself challenging those who have wronged him, he does not have the “moral courage” to stand up for himself. By remaining in the underground, the Underground Man is able to escape from reality where is able to manufacture his own world. An argument can be made that Dostoevsky used the personal aspects of the Underground Man to show the pattern of similarities between him and contemporary society. Ultimately, Dostoevsky’s critique of society attempts to explain the societal problems of individuals alienating themselves from each other by living in the
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