Notes from Underground
Notes from Underground
Summary & Analysis
Part I, Chapter I
Part I, Chapters II–IV
Part I, Chapters V–VIII
Part I, Chapters IX–XI
Part II, Chapter I
Part II, Chapter II
Part II, Chapter III
Part II, Chapters IV–V
Part II, Chapter VI–VII
Part II, Chapter VIII
Part II, Chapter IX
Part II, Chapter X
The Underground Man
Important Quotations Explained
Full Book Quiz
Analysis of Major Characters
Themes, Motifs & Symbols
Part 1, Chapter 1
Part 1, Chapters 2–4
Part 1, Chapters 5–8
Part 1, Chapters 9–11
Part 2, Chapter 1
Part 2, Chapter 2
Part 2, Chapter 3
Part 2, Chapters 4–5
Part 2, Chapter 6–7
Part 2, Chapter 8
Part 2, Chapter 9
Part 2, Chapter 10
Suggestions for Further Reading
How to Write Literary Analysis
Suggested Essay Topics
How to Cite This SparkNote
Table of Contents
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Full Book Quiz
. Why would the Underground Man be pleased if people called him a “lazybones”?
People would think he was rich and did not have to work for a living
It would be something by which to define himself
“Lazybones” is a Russian slang term for someone who is successful with women
He thinks he gets too much credit for the work he does in his department
. When does the Underground Man visit Anton Antonych at home?
When he needs to have a tooth pulled
When he wants to borrow money
Every Thursday morning
When he has the urge to socialize, if it happens to be a Tuesday
. How does the Underground Man prepare for his confrontation with the officer in the park?
He takes boxing lessons
He buys a pair of gloves and a beaver collar
He bribes a park attendant to trip the officer
He compiles a list of witty retorts to use in case the officer insults him
. When do the other guests arrive at Zverkov’s dinner?
At the same time that the Underground Man arrives
Before the Underground Man arrives
After the Underground Man arrives
They never arrive
. What does Liza show the Underground Man before he leaves the brothel?
A picture of herself as a little girl
A list of the St. Petersburg luminaries she has bedded
A love letter from a medical student
A bracelet that her mother gave her before she died
. What does the Underground Man think of the theory that, as civilization progresses, mankind becomes less likely to wage war?
He agrees, because he thinks that developed men of the nineteenth century are too indecisive to take any action at all, least of all starting or fighting a war
He disagrees, because he thinks that war gives the individual a chance to show his valor and ingenuity and achieve glory and heroism
He agrees, because he thinks that civilization’s emphasis on reason will cause all disputes to be resolved by contests of intellect rather than force
He disagrees, because the amount of war and bloodshed in the nineteenth century surpasses the amount of war and bloodshed in previous, less civilized eras
. Why does the Underground Man decide not to give Apollon his wages?
He wants to show that he has the ability to exert power over Apollon
Apollon forgot to shine the Underground Man’s boots
He has spent the money he was saving for Apollon’s wages, so he has no more money left
He has decided to give Apollon a present instead
. When the Underground Man was in school, how did he earn some respect from his fellow students?
He seduced the headmaster’s daughter
He wrote beautiful stories that moved them to tears
He had great academic success
He bested Zverkov in a duel
. For what does the Underground Man say he will make Liza “pay dearly”?
For seeing him in an embarrassing situation
For sleeping with Zverkov
For stealing money from him
For rejecting his advances
. Why does the Underground Man call the second half of his memoir “Apropos of the Wet Snow”?
He is quoting a Pushkin poem of the same title
He is implying that the snow is wet with his tears
Because the falling snow reminds him of another day when snow was falling
Because winter is his favorite season
. Why does the Underground Man dislike the idea of the Crystal Palace?
It represents the ruling classes’ oppression of the serfs
He believes that using crystal for architecture is a waste of money
He would not be able to stick out his tongue at it
He would not want to live in a palace with transparent walls
. What does the Underground Man put in Liza’s hand before she leaves his apartment?
. How does the Underground Man make amends for his behavior at Zverkov’s farewell dinner?
He invites the men out for drinks at his expense
He writes an apology to Simonov and pays him back the money he owes
He writes an article in praise of Zverkov in the paper
He pays for the men to visit prostitutes
. Why did the Underground Man’s one close friendship fall apart?
He borrowed his friend’s money and could not repay
The friend wore lemon-colored gloves, which the Underground Man thought were in poor taste
He demanded that his friend totally submit to his will, and then hated the friend once he had submitted
The friend grew exasperated with the Underground Man’s belligerence and threw him out a window
. Why does the Underground Man think that active men stop pursuing their goals once they hit a wall?
They are too stupid to think of a way around the wall
They have confidence in facts, and it is a fact that one cannot go through a wall
Something near the wall distracts them
They run into the wall and end up in the hospital
. Why does the Underground Man sleep with Liza at his apartment?
He wants to prove that he loves her
He wants to make Apollon jealous
He wants to reassert his power over her
He overpaid her earlier and is entitled to a free session
. Why does the Underground Man think that sometimes
2 x 2 = 5
is better than
2 x 2 = 4
He is thinking about chaos theory
He is irritated with the importance of reason in society
He hates mathematics with a passion
He never learned mathematics in school
. Why did the Underground Man retire from his job in civil service?
He got a better position in the military
He wrote a best-selling novel
He wanted to become a fulltime “lazybones”
He inherited a modest sum of money
. Why was the Underground Man’s job so low-ranking?
He had a bad attitude and never got promoted
He quit a more prestigious job because it reminded him too much of his negative experience at school
His health problems prevented him from doing any strenuous work
He was not particularly talented in any area
. Why does the Underground Man insist on going to dinner with Simonov and his friends?
He wants to gain their respect
He wants to poison their champagne
He is hoping he will get to spend time with Olympia at the brothel
He wants a free dinner because he is low on money
. Why does the Underground Man follow the other men to the brothel, despite all of the reasons to turn back?
He feels that he must encounter reality
He wants to spend time with Olympia
He wants to repay money he borrowed from Simonov
He has already paid for the coach
. Why does the Underground Man refuse to go to a doctor about his liver problem?
He cannot afford to pay a doctor
He believes it is his fate to die from liver disease
He knows the problem is not very serious
He resents the fact that the doctor is the only person who can help him, and refuses to go out of spite
. Why did the Underground Man spend a lot of his time reading when he was a young man?
His job required that he be familiar with literature
He was bored out of his mind
He needed distraction from his inner torment, and reading was the only external stimuli he could bear
He wanted to learn how to improve society
. Why does the Underground Man run into the street after Liza when she leaves his apartment?
She has forgotten her handbag
He wants to have the last word and insult her
He wants to make sure she gets home safely
He is moved by her dignity and wants to ask her forgiveness
. Why does the Underground Man claim to address his audience in his Notes from Underground?
He thinks they will enjoy the story more if he shows that he is interested in their opinions
He needs to pretend to himself that he has a reason for organizing the notes and improving the writing style
He is hoping they will give him money
He wants to publicly humiliate them by refuting their arguments with perfect logic and wit
Context Quick Quiz
The Underground Man: Character Analysis
Important Quotations Explained
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