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Underground Man Vs The Mad Man

2226 words - 9 pages

Essay 3As we read through Notes from the Underground and A Diary of a Madman we begin to gather that these two men, the Underground Man and the Madman, are alike in many ways. Both isolate themselves from the world around them and we can easily tell that the two characters are socially awkward. Throughout the stories the two men have so many thoughts in their heads that they end up confusing their minds and truly thinking people are out to get them. The Madman and the Underground Man, in my point of view, suffer from schizophrenia. The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that it is a "psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as of feeling, though, perception, and behavior." These two men may be slightly different by the way they act but for the most part they share the same illness.To start off about the Notes from the Underground, I believe that the underground may be a metaphor for locked out of existence, to some extent, for a man who lives underground for forty years has no clue what's going on in the real world and maybe that can give us a clue to why the Underground Man is the way he is. In the beginning of the Underground Man starts off by saying, "I am a sick man…I am a spiteful man. I am a most unpleasant man" (p 547). The Underground Man knows he has an illness but does not know anything about it or care to have a doctor take a look at him. He says he respects medicine and doctors just before stating that he cant possibly "get even" by refusing treatment and he does this out of spite. We can start to see here that he has some form of schizophrenia because one of the symptoms is thought disorder and as we can clearly tell, his thought are not in order.As we move on to chapter 2, the Underground Man is still describing himself but this time he is saying that he wishes he could become an insect and more than one occasion. The Underground Man proceeds to say he is overly conscious and that it is a disease. He continues by saying that any normal humans consciousness is plenty to fill their needs, but that is not available to a man like him, living in the unfortunate nineteenth century. In the middle of this note, the Underground Man says "people do take pride in their illnesses, and I, perhaps, more than anyone else" (549). The Underground Man in this case is different than the Madman because he knows that he is ill and fully accepts it however, does not make him sane by any means. The Underground Man is in fact proud of his illness and thinks that being overly conscious is a good thing to have. He continues on saying how he is smarter than everyone else around him and always has been but in reality he loathes the way he is. This is just another example how his thoughts are all over the place, thinking one thought and then the opposite but believing both of them.In certain parts...

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