Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Underground Man's Depression

        I feel like the Underground Man is a depressed individual who simply refuses to see any good in life. Instead of looking at the cup half-full, he sees it as half-empty. He does not want to accept some things that one must sometimes just agree with and poses an argument for everything! (Which is not necessarily a bad thing.) Instead of being call the Underground Man, I believe he would be more appropriately named "The Great Disputer", since he argues with everything under the sun. In fact, he’d probably argue with a tree on what color its bark truly was! LOL. 

        He has a very pessimistic and bleak outlook on life, accusing man of large stereotypes. He probably believes that he himself is the most intelligent person alive and that everyone else should just obey and respect his intelligence. An example of this is seen when he writes that man will ALWAYS do whatever society does not want him to, which is absurdly false because more people do what society wishes them not to do due to their desire for personal satisfaction. 

       Does anyone else sort agree with the fact that the Underground Man is insulting society and essentially everyone in society? I know I shouldn't take his accusations personally, but it's hard not to when he's so degrading about everything. 

3 comments:

Grant Reggio said...

In some ways, I could say that I do agree. Largely, one must consider the fact that this man is very egotistical, perhaps narcissistic, and that such traits usually go hand in hand with extreme levels of insecurity. Perhaps he isn't actually even expressing his depression, but instead finding a way to vent it.

Laura N said...


In his own way, he insults and rejects society out of spite and at the same time he is very concerned with it. He certainly doesn’t see much, if anything, redeemable about humanity which is sad but I think Grant is right. It’s his own fears, insecurities and self-loathing that make him so bitter and scathing towards the world. His self-hate and perverted mastachisitic thoughts and behaviors and distorted self-image translates to his depraved outlook on the world. It kind of makes me think of the saying that goes something like: you have to love yourself before you can love somebody else. He hates himself and is so wrapped up in his depression that he cant see the redeemable aspects of himself or anyone else, much less society as a whole. I’m not offended by his interpretation of the world, but I would suggest that the UM seek counseling.

Tyler Dean said...

I agree with you in part. Dostoyevsky is definitely using the UM to criticize the society he lived in. He was fed up with the utilitarian ideas which he thought were extremely unrealistic. If the Underground Man seems pessimistic, it is all due in part to Dostoyevsky's resentment of the way society's "best" were thinking and acting. I do not take his comments personally because he was talking about a completely different society. Utilitarianism was the bis thing back then, and we all know how that turned out eventually, and that it is no longer a major philosophy today. As a result, UM's comments do not really apply to us.