Friday, January 6, 2017

The Underground Man's mindset

The Underground Man makes some good points in Part I, and Part II shows the background that influenced his mindset. In Part II, the Underground Man appears to have a false sense of reality, which may cause some people to question his validity. Throughout his life, the Underground Man had fantasized situations without actually acting on them. For example, becoming friends with his classmates and the officer who ignores him. This sense of fantasy is referenced in Part I when the Underground Man says this sense of fantasy is what prevents everything from being rational. The Underground Man's mindset is not rational, but shows to hurt him in life. At his current stage in life he seems to have accepted his isolation and chooses to continue to loathe himself even though it only hurts himself. Out of spite he defends his viewpoint and defends the sense of fantasy as what makes him superior to everyone else. Part II makes the Underground's Man points in Part I more questionable as to whether he is mad or simply just defying rationalism.

4 comments:

Joseph Martin said...

I like the varying roles of part one and two that Dylan has discussed above. Part I is a dramatic monologue and paints the Underground man as the lonely and spiteful soul that he appears to be. The Underground man argues his ideas to the point that he is aggressively defensive. He shows says that he is unlike his peers by claiming that he is superior in intelligence, but contradicts this by saying his excess of consciousness makes him inferior. Part II is set some 16 years before the monologue in part I. It shows the Underground man as much the same, but also shows all of his vain efforts to fit in and be more that a "fly" in the eyes of society. I believe that in Part II, the Underground man still had not given up all hope of being included in society even after being an outcast since his childhood, but his failures to do so as an adult spur him into the thoughts that we see in Part I.

Rickeia Coleman said...

I think Underground man is an interesting character and as we discussed in class he is one of the first anti-heroes. As children we learn the majority about social interaction from our family and others around us. However, Underground man grew up really without any family and he lacked the skills to maintain a healthy friendship. This is why he has turned into the isolated and nihilistic person he is in Part I of the novel. He exclaims that he is superior to everyone but he is also afraid of others such as his former co-workers. This shows that not only does he care about what they think but he also desperately wants their attention. Sadly, he continues to be the ostracized individual that we have seen so far in the novel.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

I disagree that the Underground Man makes a lot of good points. Even if some of what he says sounds somewhat reasonable, he really seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the way the world functions. He really can't seem to communicate with other human beings. He has faced social rejection for a reason.

Brooke Williamson said...

I find this novella quite an interesting and psychological one. UM is in a constant battle of self-loathing all the while having a superiority complex over other humans. He expresses these emotions in contradictory terms which signifies his inability to be decisive on who he is and what he wants. This needs to the reader struggling to determine whether to empathize with him or have no pity at all. I think there are many interpretations one can take away from Dostoevsky's writing.