The Underground Man Themes

Mick Jackson
This Study Guide consists of approximately 32 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Underground Man.
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Aging and Mortality

The Duke is an elderly man. The novel is set in the last winter of his life. He has been aging for quite some time and he is aware of the changes to his body and mind.

The Duke is distressed by the physical consequences of aging. He has no confidence that his muscular and skeletal systems are structurally sound. Moreover, he takes physical deterioration in the trees on his estate to be a humiliating condition and since he seems obsessed with his own physical decline, it is likely that he is mortified by his own physical condition.

The Duke is also suffering from mental deterioration. There is evidence that the Duke is aware, albeit vaguely, that he is going mad. When he stares at a phrenological map, he imagines that the orderly mental compartments dissolve and violent anarchy ensues. This is a metaphor for what...

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This section contains 1,023 words
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Buy The Underground Man Study Guide
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