In DostoevskyÆs Notes from the Underground, we are treated to the experiences of a disaffected outsider. The narrator is negative and irascible and remains unnamed. He describes himself as a ôsickö and ôspitefulö man (Dostoevsky 2004). In actuality, he suffers because of the fact that the world places too much emphasis on ration. In fact, the narrator has too much consciousness and this is what causes him his pain and suffering. His life has been so empty and negative for such a long time that he can no longer take comfort in anything other than torment, humiliation and suffering. The narrator cannot find out the meaning of who he is. He has been unsuccessful in reaching out to others as a source of meaning or comfort. And he has long search for something to inspire or motivate himself but has found nothing in the search. Thus, we are treated to a number of diatribes against others who rely on logic and reason or common sense to find meaning in life.
The concept of ethics and/or values is a central theme of the book. According to Notes from the Underground, such concepts are ôabstract and premeditatedö and are the reason why he and many others represent ôunhappy nineteenth century intellectuals,ö (Dostoevsky 2004). He feels this way because all such values or ethics are manmade and are thus learned and not inherent. Because of this any values or ethics adopted by individuals fall short of providing meaning or fulfillment on a deeper level. Instead, the only means of being happy is to remain a ôspontaneous manö, i.e., someone who does what he likes when he likes (Dostoevsky 2004). Such self-gratification is the only source of pleasure or meaning in the world to the narrator, not artificially created values and ethics made by human beings.
In PirandelloÆs Six Characters in Search of an Author, we are provided with a number of characters the stage manager who directs the