The end of Notes from Underground, that is. I suppose he is minutely examining people’s motivation. Although he admitted his own propensity to treat others out of envy and spite, why were other people not so affected by the objects of his envy? They were not as scrupulous as he? But he ended up sinking lower. Were they sycophants? Then his pride was too great to esteem someone who was immorally successful. He had pride in his own morality while at the same time despising himself and others. He was too overwrought by it all to be able to offer himself to others peacefully, warts and all. I have heard that some shame we experience at our own weakness is a result of being surprised by how bad we are. A humble person is not so surprised?

Advertisements