Saturday, January 19, 2013

A different view on Underground Man

I think the biggest factor in the Underground Man's contradictions lies in the fact that he is still struggling to find his identity. I agree that Underground Man is insecure about what others think of him, and therefore he often argues both sides of a given argument, however I think that it is also possible that he himself is not sure which one he associates with. This struggle is what contributes to his unhappiness , which we see when he treats Liza in two different ways. At first he tires to console her by telling her that she could turn her life around, but later he insults her and yet he still gives her his address. Does anyone else see this?

5 comments:

Cassidy George said...

I agree with you. Underground man has no "purpose" in life, no greater goal than to simply survive, and therefore no identity. We discussed this a bit in class when Mrs. King asked us "So does Dostoevsky offer a solution?"- which was the section about faith that was later edited out. Underground man doesn't know who he is because he has no faith in something greater than himself.

Linz A said...

I like the question "Does Dostoevsky offer a solution?" Honestly, I don't think he offers a solution because there is no overall solution. Each individual has his or her own problems that require their own solutions. In the case of Madam Bovary, I think her problem is that she believes what her books tell her and because of that she has an unrealistic sense of people and the world. The Underground Man, on the other hand, seems more cowardly and incapable of acting. Their problems reflect the problems of individuals that are common throughout 19th century Europe. However, it is the similar threads of problems in the individuals that makes up the problems of the whole. So there is no one solution. I think Dostoevsky aims to point out the problems so that - hopefully - individuals can recognize it in themselves and then address the problem.

Michell D said...

The underground man is an extremely volatile character whose problems stem from his struggle for his identity. I believe that the majority of his problems are a result of his inability to realize what is actually wrong with him. It seems to me that he is extremely self conscious and doesn't really know it. The biggest problem is that he thinks he knows what is wrong with him. But in my opinion he will not solve his issues until he can relinquish the idea that he understands his issues and realizes his actual problems

Ian J said...

I agree with you Tejas, 100%. I think that if the Underground Man were to jusg make up his min about who he is or who he wants to be. Like you said Tejas, his problems stem directly from his inability to make decisions and he continues to contradict himself. And like Cassidy said, his purpose in life has disappeared because of his inability to make a decision.

Ben Bonner said...

With regards to what Cassidy said, it's really a shame that chapter 10 of part one was censored out. Seeing as we have no idea what it would have said, I find it really difficult to imagine how the Underground man could have reconciled what appears like Nihlism with religious faith. I don't know what Dostoevsky's solution is but the Underground man certainly doesn't seem to have one.