The Undergroundman Analysis

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The underground man, according to the narrator, is a fictional character who represents certain people in society. According to the narrator, the underground man is described as being someone who is filled with bitterness towards society, and finds himself powerless to act against it or within it. The underground man is a retired government service official. he is described as a nasty man, who on many occasions would take pleasure in being a spiteful official. One of the main themes in this text is spite. He states that he is a sick man with liver problems, but refuses to seek professional help from a doctor out of spite. In his opinion, he would rather have a rotting liver than to bend to a doctor’s authority. According to the narrator, the …show more content…
He states that ‘I am a sick man.... I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased.’ He continues, ‘I don 't consult a doctor for it, and never have, though I have a respect for medicine and doctors.’ Despite knowing full well that he is physically unwell, he refuses to seek the help of a doctor out of spite, regardless of the fact that his spite is hurting him. The underground man is a rather odd individual, as he does not share the same beliefs of that of a “normal” man. It is of the opinion of the narrator that the underground man is a masochist, meaning he finds a great deal of satisfaction is his own pain and humiliation. As he describes himself as a sick man, both physically and mentally, he refuses to do anything about it. He despises himself, but regards himself as being more intelligent than others. The underground man shows an inability to act on this, or rather an inability to act on anything at all, whether it is out of kindness or revenge. The normal man is expected to act directly upon their instincts and feelings, while the underground man reflects on this type of man as rather unintelligent. An act of revenge, for example, is portrayed by the normal man as an act of justice, while the underground man is too aware of the complications to retaliate with sincere faith and assurance, he refuses to do anything. This causes the underground man to …show more content…
The underground man regards himself as being much more intelligent than the normal man, and criticizes many aspects of the normal man in society. Although he despises the normal man, he is rather envious of him. He is envious at the fact that a normal man can find love in society, despite his pure hatred and utter disgust for himself and society. The underground man recognizes fellow writers such an Immanuel Kant and Victor Hugo, who celebrated “beautiful and lofty”. The underground man’s efforts to “live a little” are attempts to experience the powerful emotions that the romantic writers valued. He certainly recognizes the “beautiful and lofty”, but his outrage and disgust with himself and society has crushed any hope of him finding love or romance. A further example of the underground man’s unwillingness to act is identified in his mindset that he is far more intelligent than others. He uses his intelligence as an excuse for inactivity, and his inactivity as his excuse for his intelligence. The underground man, being as arrogant as he is, considers the active man as dull and narrow-minded, despite having a deep seeded envy for them. To add to his contradictory mind set, the underground man also believes that action is an indication of low intelligence. He portrays action in society as a type of system which people follow blindly and

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