Notes from Underground
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Contributed by Jennefer Ruano
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Chapter 17
Summary

Realizing that he’s been in a semi-conscious state (we can assume that this is after he and the woman have made love) for some time now, the UM comes to, noticing that the woman, Liza, has been staring at him.  They have a rather cold, unsociable conversation, and the UM finds out who she is and where she has come from. It turns out the girl has had a very hard life and has moved to this house recently to earn some money.

The UM is fascinated by her, however, and tries to philosophize to her, rebuking her for making herself into a slave and imploring her to give up the loathsome profession and get married.  Soon he also tells about himself and how he didn’t have a family growing up. This, he says, is why he has become "so unfeeling." Eventually he even launches into one of his underground speeches, telling her about selfless love.  Afterward, she crushes him with the sarcastic comment that he sounds "just like a book."

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