Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Fyodor Dostoevsky is widely regarded as one of the best literary psychologists and novelists of all time. He seems to have originated as one of the forefathers of realism in the modern novel setting. Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky is an unquestionably outstanding book that has played an important part in the creation of realistic literature. Notes from the Underground is an excellent and perhaps powerful example of existentialism. Despite the fact that this book is from the mid-nineteenth century, it perfectly welcomes a contrast to recent works from the twentieth century. This paper examines the specific qualities that define this novel as existential and justifies that the narrator in this novel for being radically responsible for his actions.

A close examination of existentialism elements in the Notes from the Underground reveals that the novel stems from the narrator’s self-hatred, an indication that the crisis of existentialist of the underground man is created rather than inherited (Dostoyevsky 1). The creation of existentialist environment by the underground man enables him to perpetuate his skewed view of reality. The reality notion is perhaps the most basic element of existentialism. The notion of reality contemplates that, humans simply exist. According to this notion, the pursuit of any form of meaning is perceived to be absurd and that existence takes the form of peoples’ attempt to create significance in which none does or does not exist. The narrator sees a willful delusion in peoples’ reliance on structure, order and most importantly religion (Dostoyevsky 23). According to him, these are just but structures brought into existence by human beings to brainwash themselves into a forced sense of fulfillment.

In the novel, the Underground Man is hypocritical and sees himself in a unique position. From one perspective, He clearly despises and rejects the people around him (Dostoyevsky 37). As a civil servant, he believes that his work is a form of the many sufferings. On the other hand, however, the underground man identifies himself by opposition to the people’s institutions. At this, he succeeds in creating a reality where he opposes and challenges the world to find reasons for his self-hatred and thus breaks the very existentialist tenets that he upholds. Apparently, he aims at mocking humans’ false reality while at the same time creates his own.

Dostoevsky also employs a number of structural tools in the attempt to reinforce the underground man’s skewed reality. Imperatively, the novel is composed in the perspective of the underground man who is the sole window in this world (Dostoyevsky 78). Consequently, the readers only attain his skewed take on reality in which he dwells. Key to the reality is also the identity of the man ‘underground’. Perhaps the two main reasons for doing this are, first, for identifying himself as an underground is that underground establishes him as an outsider, which undeniably is the source of much misery, though vital in creating reality for himself. Secondly, is by the fact that it hints on revolution, it tries to bring the notion that there are other silent undergrounders who will unite to resist their everyday lives’ oppression. It is however ironical that the underground man is apathetic in seeking out the mute undergrounders (Dostoyevsky 104).

Concisely, Notes from the Underground is a fictional, existentialism novel narrated by a hateful, over-conscious man living in the underground. This novel hails as existential literature exploring the absurdist take on the world, the meaningless of life, and isolation that consequently leads to self-hatred as created by the narrator.

Work Cited

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Notes from the Underground - the Original Classic Edition. Place of publication not identified: Emereo Pty Limited, 2012. Print.

October 20, 2022
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Literature Life

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Literary Genres Hero

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606

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