Notes from the Underground Setting & Symbolism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Notes from the Underground.
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The Underground

The underground is never described but is referred to on several occasions. It seems likely that this is a state of mind rather than a physical place, but it's ultimately left to the reader to decide where—or what—the underground is.

Kopek

A unit of currency in Russia. At one point, the writer declares that he would sell "the entire world for one kopek" so that he could have peace.

Ruble

A unit of currency used for most transactions in Russia. The writer paid Apollon seven rubles per month as his servant.

The Most Advantageous of Advantages

Dostoevsky defines this as man's "own whim", his "untrammeled desire". While outlining the advantages a man has, this one is typically omitted but is, in Dostoevsky's mind, the most important advantage anyone can have and is the one that overrides reason.

Brazil

The place the writer imagines that the Pope would agree to move his headquarters, if a certain array of happenings were to come to pass, such as a lake being moved to Rome and a ball given for all the people of Italy.

Lake Como

The lake the writer imagines might be moved to Rome for the incredible ball that might be thrown for all of Rome.

Five Corners

The place where Anton Antonych Setochkin lives.

The Brothel

Where the writer meets Liza.

Riga

Where Liza says she is from.

Sennaya Street

Where the writer says he saw some people carrying a coffin from a brothel, and that the bearers almost dropped it. It's apparently a poor part of town.

Volkovo

The cemetery the writer describes to Liza, saying that he'd seen burials there despite several inches of water at the bottom of the grave.

Petersburg

The Russian city where the author lived.

This section contains 279 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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