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Notes from Underground

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Study Help Essay Questions

1. What significant correlations are there between Parts I and II?

2. What are the reasons for the title of Part 2, "A Propos of the Wet Snow"?

3. What various meanings can be attached to the title?

4.     Liza says very little and yet emerges as the strongest person in Part 2. How does Dostoevsky accomplish this?

5. How effective would the novel be if Parts I and II were reversed?

6. What are the Underground Man's objections to scientific progress? Are these same objections valid today?

7. Using the Underground Man as an example, offer a definition of the "anti-hero."

8. What is gained dramatically by having the Underground Man address an imaginary audience in Part 1?

9. Part 2 is narrated theoretically to purge the Underground Man of his guilt feelings. Do you think that the narration will have a cathartic effect?

10. If you have read other novels by Dostoevsky, choose one idea from Notes from Underground and relate its development in the later novel.