Notes from the Underground

May 26, 2011

I found the character in Notes from the Underground to be the most miserable human being ever imagined. He finds pleasure in passing his suffering on to other human beings. His distorted views on humanity are brewed through the seclusion that he chose to endure. It is funny that he chooses suffering. At the beginning of the story we are told that he leaves his successful job to go underground. Perhaps this is to find happiness through knowledge but such knowledge as Dostoevsky portrays only leads to more suffering and confusion.

He asks many disturbing questions to the reader and it appears that in all his studies and advancement mentally he still cannot answer the questions he started out with. The underground man is a person that has to live with a societal measure and find whether he is superior to the other man or below him. I don’t think this way. Its interesting that through all his calculations and attempts at being different or “divorce from the real life,” that he doesn’t realize that part of that divorce should be freedom from bondage of measure. He concludes with a “we” and it makes me wonder if he is the underground man how can he speak for mankind when all his experience has been away from mankind?

It was an interestingly dull read and painful at times because you see through the eyes of the most despicable human being. He is truly lost and through the product of deciding to not have human contact. He pushes away every human being that gets close to him, insults and disgraces them. His mental calculations are radical and painful to read. One can not help but think how can a man so intelligent and well read act so irrationally?