Saturday, January 9, 2016
Masochism is "the tendency to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from one's own pain or humiliation." We came to the conclusion the other day in class that the Underground Man exhibits masochistic qualities, especially in Part I. When we are first introduced to UM, we learn that he really actually does get some sort of enjoyment from bringing pain among himself. More importantly, he even says he would "feel unending pleasure if [he] succeeded in causing someone distress." UM suffers too many dilemmas and I don't know whether to feel bad for him or not... The people he tries to interact with are the ones he claims to despise; he's self-loathing but also narcissistic; he feels underneath people while at the same time thinks he's intellectually superior. He's also incredibly isolated and socially inept, but he's pessimistic and doesn't make an effort to take action because his thinking and analysis incapacitates him. Some of UM's analysis would certainly make one feel a little uncomfortable. He's very obsessive to the point where he drives himself crazy. Like he said in the beginning, he's definitely a "sick" man, but can we really blame the liver?