The Underground Man In Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground

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In Dostoevsky novel, Notes from Underground, it involves the tormenting thoughts of a bitter antisocial man living in St.Petersburg, Russia. The Underground Man writes down his contradictory thoughts to describe his isolation from society. In his moments of solitude and isolation, he becomes corrupted by the power of spite. He does not give much thought how being spiteful will affect his life because he is an intelligent man. The act of being intelligent does not satisfy him, rather he uses his intelligence as a mechanism to make others feel as though they are incompetent to him. The Underground Man strives to have a role of authority over other individuals, however, his low insignificant position in society detains him from even feeling socially…show more content…
In particular, the Underground Man experienced a traumatic incident where he was lifted from his shoulders and removed from the path of an officer (Dostoevsky 49). As a result of this incident, it created a profound feeling that he is meaningless to society. This act was not only humiliating but also stripped the Underground Man from his masculinity. “I could even have forgiven a beating, but I simply could not forgive his moving me and in the end just not noticing me” (Dostoevsky 49). His masculinity grants him a personal sense of power, but that had been taken from him. Continuously he is abused and stripped from a satisfaction of feeling socially equal to others. This is a cause of his social economic status, which only allows him to clothe himself with old stained garments. For this reason, he is perceived to be less than a human in the eyes of individuals who play an important role to society. Since the Underground Man’s character has been described as socially isolated since the beginning of the book, his difficulties expressing himself to other individuals was the commencement of a deep angry desire to have some authority over the officer. Rather than letting the incident go he torments himself with it and plans a revenge. A revenge that he cannot pursue because his low income does not allow him to play the role of a sophisticated…show more content…
For example, the Underground Man makes a salary that is minimal in comparison to the salary of the people he associated himself with. A high salary brings benefits of power and respect. Owing to that the Underground Man has a poverty struck salary. He is not in a position to be granted social benefits among his peers. Opposed to his peers being charismatic towards him he is shunned so in order to give himself a level of importance he forces himself onto social events. ‘“Let him come, if he wants to so much, “But we have our own circle, we’re friends,”. . . Maybe we don’t want you at all”’ (Dostoevsky 65). The Underground Man invites himself to an expensive dinner with his peers who do not want him present, rather than anticipating a nice evening, he torments himself about it. “I dreamed of getting the best of them, winning them over, carrying them away, making them love me” (Dostoevsky 70). He fantasies over the dinner with the thoughts to attend and have them beg for his friendship. Their begs will give him a sense of authority by deciding if to accept or deny their pleads. On the contrary, the first thing they ask him is regarding his salary as a way to place him on the lower social scale and start the evening by stripping him away from any authority. Although the Underground Man is not part of a high social standing, he is an intelligent man.

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