Notes From Underground

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Notes from Underground Analysis In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, the main point is that general human rationalizations based on predictable laws are not profound, thus making human existence trivial. According to Dostoevsky, humans essentially are conscious, but most are conscious to a very limited degree. Thus, Dostoevsky invents the Underground Man, who is extremely conscious. The Underground Man gives us a glance at nineteenth century society and humanity in general, from an aggressively cognizant point of view. In this paper, I will discuss how Dostoevsky criticizes common human tendencies, thinking processes, and even the laws of nature to show just how mundane and monotonous they truly are. I will then analyze how Dostoevsky’s interpretation of humanity ties in with the ideologies of existentialism. I will conclude with my own thoughts on these various issues. “Once it’s proved to you, for example, that you descended from an ape, there’s no use making a wry face, just take it for what it is. …there’s nothing to be done, because two times two is-mathematics. Try objecting to that” (Dostoevsky 13). In this quote, the Underground Man refers to Darwin’s theory of evolution. This establishes the fact that humans did not come from some wondrous place, such as Heaven. Humans evolved on earth from another animal and objecting to that is like objecting to two times two. Object to it, deny it all you want, but the fact remains just that, says the Underground Man. With this passage and essentially with Darwin’s findings, humans dropped a notch in their own previous image of themselves. We went from being God’s greatest creation to the by-product of a monkey gone wrong. It is essentially a human tendency to “fold” in front of such a statement, or the “ultimate wall” this statement creates, conveys the Underground Man, this wall of unquestionable natural
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