Notes from the Underground
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis
Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.
Plot Type : Rebirth
The Shadow of the Dark Power
Almost all of Notes from the Underground
The shadow here is so many things…the Underground Man's isolation, his need for suffering, his enjoyment of suffering, his hyper-consciousness, the wall that is the laws of nature, his poverty, etc.
The Shadow Recedes
The Underground Man reaches out to Liza
The shadow of self-imposed isolation and insular hyper-consciousness starts to recede when the Underground Man breaks through his crusty exterior to reach out to Liza. Unfortunately, his version of "reaching out" is a lecture on how she will likely get a disease and die without ever being loved or remembered (but we can give him points for trying).
The Shadow Recedes Some More
Liza actually shows up to the Underground Man's apartment; he talks about his feelings, and they have sex
Things seem the most hopeful for the Underground Man when he breaks down crying and confesses everything to Liza. She comforts him and they have sex, and we have to wonder for a moment if, perhaps, there isn't some Miraculous Redemption coming soon.
Miraculous Redemption (Or Not…)
Liza leaves forever.
Unfortunately, while there was potential for a Miraculous Redemption, the Underground Man messes this up royally. Far from redeeming him, Liza's exit condemns our narrator to a lifetime of solitude and suffering.