Friday, January 6, 2017
no pain no gain
One of the key tenets of the Underground man's philosophy is that it is human nature to sometimes go against what is rational and instead do something that causes pain to themselves simply because humans want to express individualism. The piano key or organ stop metaphor is one of the most evident examples of this. People want to prove their humanity instead of being like a regulated machine. This leads to acting against their own self-interest even in situations in which they are aware of what will benefit them. Dostoevsky uses this to criticize the view of his time that people will act in their own self-interest if they become aware and that this self-interest will benefit society. Here, we can directly see how the persona of the Underground Man is created to criticize such ideologies such as liberalism and utilitarianism.