Notes from the Underground explores the head of a adult male isolated by modern society and the consequence his inability to accept world has on him. This transition, located at the beginning of chapter four, demonstrates the Underground Man ‘s resentment about his isolation and the influence European civilization in Russia has on overall mentality on life. In order to to the full hold on both the intent of this transition and the ideals it represents, it is of import to observe its context. His vindictive, cranky words are provoked by his desire to rebut anyone who relies entirely on ground to warrant their actions, as one who relies entirely on ground would non believe that person could happen pleasance out of hurting. The Belowground Man does non believe in the Torahs of ground because he feels they restrict free will. He is willing to make things that are wholly irrational, such as ruin the one opportunity at societal interaction he has, Zverkov ‘s birthday dinner, merely for the interest of exerting his free will. Similarly, people moan when they have a odontalgia, even though it has no intent, merely because they can. This is of import because for the progressives of this clip, rationalism was a manner of regulating their lives. Dostoevsky turned his dorsum on broad thoughts when, in gaol, he learned that the common people viewed the intellectuals with every bit much abomination as they did the opinion category.
In the preceding chapter, the Underground Man discusses the shame that accompanies accepting the fact that nature ‘s Torahs make certain things impossible, for illustration, utilizing his caput to interrupt through a rock wall. Because he is non able to make this, merely as one is non able to bring around a odontalgia, he feels hopeless and ashamed, and has no 1 to fault because that is merely the manner it is ; there is nil he can make about it. However, the Underground Man relishes his ain shame, and is hence able to warrant finding pleasance in a odontalgia.
The odontalgia represents more than merely an annoyance, it represents the ideals the European civilization was affecting upon Russian society. Merely as it does non do sense to bask a odontalgia, European literature and doctrines did non do sense when applied to Russia. The Underground Man tried to do his life like the lives of the heroes in Romantic literature, but he was unsuccessful in this enterprise because he lacked the ability to move. Like person with a odontalgia who complains even though it does non assist, he spends infinite hours analysing and kicking about his life, but ne’er does anything to better it. Alternatively, he makes it worse for himself and others, merely as one does by groaning.
The transition begins with the Underground Man ‘s basic account of how people react to a odontalgia, “…people do n’t nurse their choler mutely, the groan aloud ; but these are non blunt, straightforward groans, there is a sort of cunning maliciousness in them, and that ‘s the whole point. Those really moans show the sick person ‘s delight ; if he did non bask his groans, he would n’t be moaning” ( Dostoevsky 14 ) . What is dry about this is that in his efforts to challenge ground, he is utilizing a really logical statement. He goes on to state, “these groans express, to get down with, you awareness of the whole humiliating purposeless of your hurting ; your acknowledgment of the whole array of nature laws” ( 14 ) . This is both a remark on the Torahs of ground and the construct of shame. The inability to contend nature ‘s Torahs and squelch your odontalgia is mortifying. In some state of affairss, such as his brush with the police officer subsequently in the narrative, he does non revenge because he is excessively nervous and invariably finds excuses non to, as, harmonizing to him, any witting adult male would. On the other manus, in a conflict with the forces of nature, even person classified as an unconscious adult male with the nervus to revenge, has no defence and will ne’er come out a victor. Ultimately, the groans are non a reaction to the hurting that the odontalgia causes, but a mark of licking, acknowledgment that you can non contend it. Feeling the hurting is purposeless because no affair how long you moan, it will non travel off, nor will the groans alleviate it at all.
He so specifically addresses the educated:
Listen carefully sometimes to the groans of an educated nineteenth-century adult male who suffers from toothache- say, on the 2nd or 3rd twenty-four hours ; that is, non merely because his dentitions aching, non like some petroleum provincial, but like a adult male who has been touched by advancement and European civilization, a adult male who has ‘divorced himself from the dirt and from the popular elements ‘ , as people say presents. His groans get a sort of filth, they become average and malicious, and go on twenty-four hours and dark. And yet he himself knows better than anyone else that it is simply lacerating and annoying both himself and others to no good intent. ( 15 )
The Underground Man ‘s resentment about his disaffection as an rational becomes apparent here. The Europeanized manner of thought separated the Russian intellectuals from the common people, who represented the true bosom of Russian civilization. He sardonically condemns those who have been influenced by Western thoughts by stating that the “progress” they have been touched by merely makes them more malicious because they are consciously annoying others for no ground. Simply put, as elect members of society they should cognize better.
Shortly after this transition, the Underground Man declares that he has this inexorable mentality on life because he does non esteem himself. He inquiries the reader, “can a adult male of witting intelligence have any self regard to talk of? ” ( 16 ) . This is because consciousness of his actions draws attending to his impotence and shows him that he must ever subject to nature ‘s Torahs. His consciousness convinces him that every determination he makes is basically flawed, which is why it is so difficult for him to move. And the more he does non move, the more ashamed of himself he becomes.
Dostoevsky ‘s manner of composing gives extra penetration into the Underground Man ‘s ideas and emotional province. This full transition is a exaggeration. The Underground Man takes his thoughts to extremes because he is trying to do a extremist statement. For illustration, he says “…you are in entire bondage to your teeth” , and “his moans get a sort of filth, they become average and malicious, and go on twenty-four hours and night” , both of which are evidently exaggerations ( 15 ) . This usage of hyperbole is besides attributed to his desire to do his world mirror Romantic literature, in which every action is expansive. The same authorship manner is used subsequently in the narrative in his addresss to Liza and his descriptions of his choler with the police officer, both state of affairss that demonstrate this desire.
Because Notes from the Underground is the Underground Man ‘s diary, it is written as a watercourse of consciousness. He speaks in long sentences composed of several dependent clauses. For illustration, the undermentioned sentence, along with about all of the other sentences in the transition, has four dependent clauses:
And yet he himself knows that his groans wo n’t make him any good at all ; he knows that the audience, for whose benefit he is exercising himself, and his whole household are ill to decease of listening to him, that they no longer believe him and cognize that he could groan rather otherwise, more merely, without all those flourishes and shakes, and that he ‘s simply indulging himself out of malice and beastliness. ( 15 )
These short, jerky ideas bit by bit acquire more intense and are a mark that he may be traveling brainsick due to his inability to get by with society. In the beginning, the whiner is described as holding “awareness of the whole humiliating purposeless of [ their ] pain” . Towards the center of the transition, the whiner is said to see a “kind of pleasance which may make the extreme highs of voluptuousness” , and by the terminal, the whiner is “merely indulging himself out of malice and meanness” ( 14-15 ) . By and large, when people speak in this manner, it is associated with anxiousness. In this instance, it is likely that as the Underground Man thinks more and more about both nature ‘s Torahs and the Western thoughts prevalent in Russia, he feels progressively more angry with society and more disgruntled with his ain life.
Both the content and composing manner of this transition aid explicate the Underground Man ‘s actions throughout the remainder of the novel. His inability to get by with society and accept world grows, as does his deficiency of ego regard, finally taking him to drive away the few familiarities he has and his one opportunity at love, everlastingly locking him into his ego imposed isolation.