underground man vs the mad man

Essay by binxnotoCollege, UndergraduateB, April 2013

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As 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...