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Notes From Underground: The Autonomic Remonstrance of a Persona

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Middlesex...

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school essay
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  1. Introduction
  2. The first part of the memoir
  3. Pervasiveness within the ideology of the Underground Man
  4. Rebelling against society itself
  5. The stimulus provided by reading
  6. His attempt at socializing
    1. Visiting an old schoolmate
    2. Being treated with condescension
    3. His shabby apartment and pitiable lifestyle
  7. Conclusion

Dostoevsky's classic, Notes From Underground maintains the transient ability to pass through the realm of classic literature and into the incendiary realm of the literary fiends who feed on accumulated grotesqueries. This transmutability is painfully not shared with the fabricated persona of the ?Underground Man? one of the most pathetic yet endearing characters ever to exist in prose. As his title suggests, the ?Underground Man? shuns humanity yet simultaneously and with a forceful dynamic believes that humanity is superior to him. The narrative voice is constantly in conflict with itself with equally robust ideologies cannibalizing themselves and pushing themselves forward so as to create an infinite stasis that he cannot transcend. The atomic theme of alienation and of the outcasts that society engenders is one constructed seamlessly well by Dostoevsky and the romanticism of the persona objectively watching itself is one admitted in earnest. The persona's shunning of humanity is similar to the irony of a little boy lashing out at an animal and laughing--the irony being that the little boy hurts as well. No other literary character is so absolutely self-effacing and filled utterly with inconsistent bile.

[...] From the beginning the dialogic text begins its ridiculous autonomic remonstrance of itself. He takes a perverse pleasure in the mercurial whims of his bodily ailments and claims that he is a sick, spiteful, and unattractive man. He claims that his liver is diseased but refuses to go to a doctor out of spite. The indelible patterning of his thought process is set up from this first paragraph. The soul force of an idea emerges and is displaced immediately by its dark other. [...]


[...] The narrative digresses for the persona to discuss ?Russian Romanticism? which is distinct from Western European Romanticism because the Russian Romantic would not ?lift a finger for his ideal.? This reasserts the foremost conflict that torments the Underground Man throughout the retelling of his past: the inability to align his literary persona with a natural reality and sociability in the real world. The disjoint between this preconceived literary persona and the world mirrors the relationship between a false Russian culture and its people. [...]

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