Long Paper II

Long Paper II - Richard Stupple COR 102: Narratives of the...

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Richard Stupple COR 102: Narratives of the Self II Long Paper II March 27 th 2008 The Underground Man – A Disconnected Mind Victor Terras’s statement that Fyodor Dostoevsky’s characters “may be perceived as ideas incarnate and his plots as conflicts of ideas” raise many key points about the view that the literary community has on the Underground Man. It is the man himself who embodies the ideas that many people struggle with and have done so since the Enlightenment appeared over two centuries ago. The Underground Man has cut himself off from the rest of society; he represents the person that has become dissatisfied with the changes that the new modern lifestyle and attitudes have brought. But what part of these modern changes does the Underground Man resent? He is the epitome of a man who disagrees with the traditional Enlightenment thought that reason alone can fix any problem that arises in society, since he does not underestimate the power of human free will. In fact, it is his own strong sense of free will that makes him the character that he is, an outspoken critic of the modern world-view that has become masochistic and detached from the acceptable realities of the modern world. Through this divide, the Underground Man struggles to deal with the clash of Enlightenment views and his previously held dispositions. During the 18 th century, the rise of a proper scientific method that came from Enlightenment thinkers began to impose a considerable impact on society. Especially significant was the changes that the new school of thought had brought on Russia.
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Throughout the previous few centuries, Russia had remained a mostly “old-fashioned” and feudal society, while other European nations had fully embraced the beginnings of scientific and technological advancement and the development of industry. By the middle of the 18 th century, most people had been convinced that any argument could be resolved, any problem could be solved, or any decision could be made using the ideas of rationalism and logic. However, the Underground Man makes a thrilling and highly intriguing argument against the power of Enlightenment thinking. He argues in many instances that if reason and logic were supposedly as infallible as they had been made out
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course COR 102 taught by Professor Steen during the Spring '08 term at Oglethorpe.

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Long Paper II - Richard Stupple COR 102: Narratives of the...

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