Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The underground man Essay Example for Free

The underground man Essay The underground man is amusing and thought-provoking. His assertion that his intelligence is the reason for his isolation must have some truth; that he should be so socially inept at his age is probably explained by his acute sensitivity, but it is interesting to think that it might also have been his isolation that has led to his extreme sensitivity. Since he is situated outside of the normal social structure, he is able to make observations that â€Å"normal† persons could not. He is like an ugly man who cannot bear to show his ugliness to the world, yet one who also desires intensely to become part of it. This is a maddening aspect of his character. For all his intelligence, he is remarkably stupid for refusing to understand. He states that it is his choice to live in isolation because he suffers from acute consciousness, but despite all this it is obvious that he desires to have a â€Å"normal† life. However, the predominant feeling that I had from reading the story is frustration. Most frustrating is that he does not even try to resolve his problems. This attitude of his is exemplified when he says: â€Å"Ha! you may object sarcastically, this way youll soon find pleasure in a toothache. Well, Id answer, theres pleasure in a toothache too. (p. 99) His greatest â€Å"toothache† here is his alienation and isolation from â€Å"normal† society. I, as I suspect almost everyone, have had feelings of alienation and isolation that, during the time of their occurrence, I could only have described as profound; although looking back these feelings become easier to rationalize and to see the cause of. But he insists in the fact that he is always rational, and that his intelligence is superior and furthermore correct. He knows that he is negative and destructive towards himself and others, but he makes no effort to resolve this. He seems disillusioned, but he is actually a pitiful victim of self-deception, attaching the wrong sort of â€Å"superiority† to his miserable intelligence, and believing himself superior to everyone else. When he says: â€Å"You know, ladies and gentlemen, probably the only reason why I think Im an intelligent man is that in all my life Ive never managed to start or finish anything† (p. 104), he means that only the stupid can be so sure of themselves; this is one thing that is irritating and frustrating about him. His intelligence has rendered him immobile because he is aware of all the uncertainty inherent in nature, and he will not believe that he has a full understanding of reasons, as the stupid man does. He finds comfort in justifying his plight by asserting that he is intelligent But in his portrayal of his â€Å"misadventures† in the second part of the story, I felt a distasteful sort of sympathy. One almost feels elated on his behalf, in the instance when he is almost joyous that he would at last have an â€Å"encounter with reality†: So this is reality, I mumbled, dashing downstairs, finally Ive met it head on. † (p. 159) At last a decisive event will happen in his life, one over which his excessive rationalizing has no effect. He hides from from life, and he feels alive only by being destructive. But in him one finds a sort of friend who will probably understand your every ill emotion because he has experienced it all, but who will also probably scorn you and make you feel foolish. His intelligence has allowed him – or perhaps has forced him – to live a life of constant rationalizing, thus robbing him of he ability to relate to the â€Å"lower† level of ordinary human life. But he is also subject to pride despite his intelligence. I could almost sympathize with what happened when he â€Å"did make a friend once, but I was already a tyrant at heart and wanted to be the absolute ruler of his mind. I wanted to instill in him contempt for all those around us; I demanded that he break with his world† (p. 147). I have had my share of instances of a vague sense of contempt for everyone, but I am far from rejecting society as he has. His rejection of society has led to society rejecting him, and this has robbed him of tangible experiences and made him desperate.

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