Under The Net Literary Analysis

Words: 995
Pages: 4

Under the Net by Iris Murdoch revolves around the central theme of relativism—the idea that different points of views have no absolute truth and that perception changes due to experiences. The protagonist, Jake Donaghue, is self-absorbed and suffers from a faulty net of perception, as he believes the world is the solar system and he is the sun. His interpretation of everything and every relationship around him is wrong but is presented to us as if they’re right, leading to a lot of misunderstandings. This novel is an accurate representation of the mirror opposites of reality and appearance and is structured around a series of hapless adventures, followed by a reflection on those actions. Under the Net tells the story of Jake’s moral journey to self-realization (the Murdochian Goodness) and ultimately, to becoming a better writer. When Jake is first introduced to the readers, he analyzes himself as “talented, but lazy” (21), and we soon learn that Jake lives his life solely by going with the flow. He has no sense of direction of work or love—he claims he is a writer but only ever translates …show more content…
This is revealed in the beginning of the novel when Jake describes his relationship with Finn, “I sometimes feel that Finn has very little inner life…I count Finn as an inhabitant of my universe, and cannot conceive that he has one containing me” (9). Jake then goes on to talk about how he has a “complex…and highly differentiated” (9) life and that “this is what always happened; [I] would be at pains to put [my] universe in order and set it ticking, when suddenly it would burst again into a mess of the same poor pieces” (9). It is this complicated inner life of his, in which he is the star of his own ongoing soap opera, that Jake has to struggle with throughout the novel, as it is the reason for most of his