There are specific
examples from the Notes of the Underground that can clearly show how the death
drives of the two relate. The underground man finds pleasure in in a couple of
controversial situations in his life which should not be the case to a normal
human. For example, the underground man finds pleasure in his toothache. This
can be seen from his words, “Ha, ha, ha! You will be finding enjoyment in
toothache next,” you cry, with a laugh.” And yet again these words of his,
“Well, even in toothache there is enjoyment,” I answer. I had tooth-ache
for a whole month and I know there is. In that case, of course, people are not
spiteful in silence, but moan; but they are not candid moans, they are
malignant moans, and the malignancy is the whole point. The enjoyment of the
sufferer finds expression in those moans; if he did not feel enjoyment in them
he would not moan” (Nelson et al., 47).

These words show the
extent to which the man finds pleasure in his toothache and on the same hand
brings out his masochism character. Previously on the book, we see clearly that
the underground man takes pleasure when his imagined people humiliate him and how
they think that he has no power.  “Suffering leads to
consciousness”.  Another example on the same context is one where he
enjoys his liver sickness. He brings this out by saying, “I am a sick man. . .

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. I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I think my liver is diseased.

Then again, I don’t know a thing about my illness; I’m not even sure what
hurts. I’m not being treated and never have been, though I respect both
medicine and doctors. Besides, I’m extremely superstitious—well at least enough
to respect medicine. (I’m sufficiently educated not to be superstitious, but I
am, anyway.) No, gentlemen, it’s out of spite that I don’t wish to be treated.

. . . My liver hurts? Good, let it hurt even more!” (Nelson et al.,  59).

The pleasure he takes in his
pain and humiliations makes him different from any rational man who would
otherwise mourn over such situations. The underground man’s enjoyment of his
toothache is symbolically used by the author, Dostoevsky, to bring out the
level at which the underground man would take pleasure in any other extreme
critical situations in his life. The sarcastic trait of the underground man
brings out the relationship between his death drive and that of the
Freud.  The similarity and relationship is brought about in how the two
perverse the pain and humiliation ideas to an extreme level (Freud, II). The
underground man, on the other hand, is an individual who takes pleasure when he
annoys others or rather when he harms others. In his conscious mind, the
underground man annoys a couple of his schoolmates and also fantasizes slapping
Zverkov during his party. The author uses this quote “l’homme de la nature et
de la vérité” (Nelson et al., 94)  to show how the underground man hates a
man such as Zverkov. Such a character trait towards others especially explains
the reason as to why the underground man separates himself from the other
people. He is a sadist and enjoys hurting others to a great extent.  This
sadist character of his makes his pain and pleasure principle relate to that of
Freud.

In the notes from the
underground, the relationship between underground man and Liza shows that the
underground man enjoys making her life miserable. “I chanced to look into the
glass. My harassed face struck me as revolting in the extreme, pale, angry, and
abject, with disheveled hair. “No matter, I am glad of it,” I
thought; “I am glad that I shall seem repulsive to her; I like that”
(Nelson et al., 71). Knowing that Liza enjoys helping him with love from how
she loves the treasures, the underground man takes advantage of the girl and
enjoys making her tear. When she arrives late at Zverkov’s party, he is filled
with rage and the urge to go her pay dearly.  He continually keeps hurting
her even when he is lecturing her in his apartment. Dostoevsky, through
similarities between the perverse thoughts of the underground man and that of
Freud suggest that they both show a death drive in their thinking. According to
the author, the underground man makes a perverse thought about everything which
thereby contributes to his urges that seem rather natural such as the sexual
urges. The underground man is similar to Freud, who in Eros which is the sexual
drive that will give the underground man a desire for sex that keeps him going
in his lonesome state.

From the analysis of the
notes from underground and those from the interpretation of dreams on ID and
ego, we can conclude that the underground man is a representative of Freud’s
death drive. The reason behind this is because we can see the similarity in the
perversion of their unconscious mind in a couple of ways. Similarly, they also
share the principle of pleasure as seen above. The level of their depravity is
on another level as we can see they take pleasure in situations that are
compromising for any rational man. The two have similar character traits as we
can see in both POVs how highly they think of themselves. Therefore, in
conclusion, it is safe to say that the perverse pleasures that the underground
man expresses throughout the book bring him out entirely as a representative of
Freud’s death drive.

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