Dostoyevsky's Notes from the Underground: Contrasting Roles

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Contrasting Roles: The Good and the Bad
In Fydor Dostoyesky’s, Notes from the Underground, the relationship between an underground man and a young prostitute, Liza, depicts admirable and harsh qualities. Truly, Liza illustrates a kind-hearted human being while the Underground Man exemplifies a harsh and isolated person. Liza’s function in this novel is to show the contrast between the two completing roles that characterize a classic literary illustration of what is good and bad.

The altercations that Liza and the Underground Man have significantly portray positive and unsuitable qualities. Upon meeting Liza, the Underground Man harshly ridicules Liza and her lifestyle. He says that she is “a slave from the start. Yes, a slave! You give up everything, your whole freedom. If you want to break your chains afterwards, you will not be able to” (Dostoyevsky p. 64). This quote undoubtedly exposes Underground Man’s awful perspective on Liza. He believes that Liza is property, rather than a human being. Also, the quote shows that he is stripping Liza of any hope for the future. He does so by telling Liza that if she ever wanted to stop prostituting, she would not be able to. Despite all of the awful accusations that he makes, Liza patiently listens although it is hurting her tremendously. Furthermore, this emphasizes the contrast in characters. It evident that Liza is truly good and that the Underground Man is relentless. However, this not the only altercation that sheds light on this notion.

Moreover, there is also another conflicts that give a defined distinction between what is good and bad. The underground Man goes on to further insult Liza without a will to stop. He states, “I know that I have only to whistle and you have to come with me whether you like it or not. I don’t consult your wishes, but you mine” (p. 69). The underground Man is dehumanizing Liza by comparing her to a dog. He claims that Liza will come to him just as a dog follows a master’s...
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