View Full Version : Themes of "Notes from the underground"

03-04-2009, 01:50 AM
Hi all,

I will be brief to ensure that I do not look like I am cheating for my ISU project. But I need to choose a book to read on my own that has a common theme with a book I am reading in class, and a movie. My idea here is Frankenstein and then Notes from the Underground, as I am told that Notes is an excellent portrayal of obsession and downfall/insanity (I know that downfall and insanity are different, but I think I will make the point that htey are on the same path... One is just further along than the other, and it depends where you start on that path) .... Before I commit to the book and make it my final choice, I wanted to double check on here:

Any opinion? Is this book containing of the theme I am looking for?

Note: I do not want much detail here, because I don't want to look like I am cheating. Realistically I just need a yes or a no answer on the topic.... Waste of time? Or good read for my theme?


Dr. Hill
03-04-2009, 04:44 PM
You're on the right track but not exactly. I'm not going to help you cheat but Notes From Underground is a bit deeper than just obsession/insanity. The narrator of Notes From Underground is far more disturbed than Victor, I think. Notes From Underground tackles ideas such as the free will/happiness relation. That humans, given free will, are unhappy due to it. As far as insanity goes, the Underground Man certainly isn't a stable individual . . .

03-04-2009, 05:15 PM
At the risk of sounding like I'm cheating (which I am not), I will respond to this discussion by saying that, whether I see the obsession/insantiy tie better, or the free will/unhappiness relation better, I think I could easily pull that out of Frankenstein as well... I mean, Victor certainly isn't the happiest man in the world given the choice to create the second monster or not. I can see that relation quite well, and I believe I could prove it from his thoughts of horror re: the situation.

Thanks for the help/point in the right direction to the yellow brick road! Appreciated.

03-04-2009, 05:27 PM
I would go with Paradise Lost... Shelley makes a pretty direct link with her novel and Milton's.

Or if you can do poetry, I would go with Conrad's "The Ancient Mariner" or Blake's "Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

a lot of books deal with the issue of alienation and the creation/creator dilemma...