The Man Who Lived Underground Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Man Who Lived Underground.
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Guilt and Innocence

One of the most Important themes in "The Man Who Lived Underground," the idea that Fred Daniels keeps exploring as he moves through the story, is the Idea of guilt and innocence. In nearly every episode, Daniels wrestles with guilt. When he hears the churchgoers singing hymns, he wants to laugh, but immediately he is "crushed with a sense of guilt." Contemplating the scene, he comes to believe that they are wrong to be asking forgiveness of God. The contrast is significant: he is "crushed" with guilt over the simple act of almost laughing, yet he feels that others should "stand unrepentant" for their own sins.

As he moves through the tunnels underground, his exploration of the meaning of guilt appears even more confused. He gradually comes to understand that everyone is equally guilty, or equally not guilty. Guilt does not prevent him from taking tools...

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This section contains 775 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Man Who Lived Underground Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Man Who Lived Underground from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.