Dostoyevsky Response Essay

This essay has a total of 279 words and 2 pages.

Dostoyevsky Response

Notes from Underground is the narrative of a slightly mad, extremely alienated recluse set
in St. Petersburg in the mid 1800s. The text is divided into two parts: in the first, the
anonymous Underground Man describes his views of the world, society, and human nature,
most of which stem from his inability to integrate himself into society; the second part
describes events in the Underground Man's life that explain how he descended into madness
and isolation.

The events in Part II are quite simple: one afternoon, the protagonist visits an old
friend, and invites himself to a dinner for a mutual acquaintance. He goes to the dinner,
but acts rudely and humiliates himself. He follows the dinner party to a brothel
nonetheless, determined to either clear his honor or win their friendship. At the brothel,
he loses the dinner guest but meets and hires a young prostitute. He tries to convince her
to give up prostitution. He then tells her to visit him, but when she does, he explodes at
her and reveals that he only sought to humiliate her, since he had been so humiliated. The
prostitute leaves and the Underground Man is left alone.

The Underground man is never named and we know only that he is a minor civil servant,
fairly poor, and unaccomplished in his professional life. All of the other characters are
viewed through the lens of the crazed Underground Man's observations. This view offers the
reader a unique perspective as to how he sees and understands the world around him. In his
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