This story starts off with a man who is admitting to be sick. Although he only discusses his physical sickness, his handling of the issue along with his issue with dealing with others and opinion about life leads us to believe that he may also have a mental issue as well. He refuses to get any help with his ailment although he knows it is possible to receive some medical attention which may in turn may possibly make him better.
An article in The New York Times paper titled “Mayor of Ailing Detroit Resists Outside Takeover” is similar to that of the “Underground Man”. Detroit is suffering financially, yet Mayor Dave Bing refuses to receive any outside help and insists Detroit will somehow rebuild itself on it’s own.
In The Underground Man the reader is quickly introduced to man that appears to be both physically sick and not fully mentally present. This man has convinced himself (and tries to convince others) that those who think consciously are dumb. He feels he is smarter than everyone else by realizing this truth. The Underground Man even denounces science in stating, “..there is no such thing as choice…science has even now succeeded in analyzing man to such an extent that we know already that choice and what is called freedom of will are nothing other than..” (A, 595). He is adamantly against “going with the grain” and doing what society and science predict what is best for you.
In the New York Times Article, “Mind Games: Sometimes a White Coat Isn’t Just a White Coat” by Sandra Blakeslee, studies claim that when someone puts on a white coat, they are actually smarter. The article states: “The effect occurs only if you actually wear the coat and know its symbolic meaning — that physicians tend to be careful, rigorous and good at paying attention.” This study actually supports the Underground Man’s way of thinking that people act and think according to how a society has led them to believe and not on their own. In this instance, it is that physicians are highly intelligent people. Putting on the white coat evokes people to feel intelligent as well.
Note From Underground Part One versus Buying Homes by the Thousands(Business Day)
Throughout Notes from Underground, the narrator is constantly demonstrating that he is not capable of making any rational decision with confidence. He is able to think of all the many different consequences that his actions may cause…one might even call him overly cautious. The underground man believes that only people who are stupid will act in complete confidence without questioning themselves. He says “Such a man simply rushes straight toward his object like an infuriated bull with its horn down, and nothing but a wall to stop him.” (Notes from Underground Part one Page587).This can be compared to the article ‘Buying Homes by the Thousands’ because it appears as though the investors are buying a plethora of homes without thinking about the possible consequences. They are acting irrationally and only a wall, loosing lots of money, will stop them. As the article says “Nobody has ever tried this on such a large scale, and critics worry these new investors could face big challenges managing large portfolios of dispersed rental houses”(Buying Homes by the thousands Paragraph 3). It is evident that the critics would agree with the underground man whereas the investors would disagree. By buying many different rental properties that are all spread out, they are taking a big risk because “Typically landlords tend to be individuals or small firms that own just a handful of homes.”(Buying Homes by the thousands Paragraph 3). So not only are the investors taking a financial risk, they are also risking not being successful landlords since they will have so many properties to manage and so many tenants; making it more likely for tenants to become displeased. Even though the investors seem to be making this decision in confidence, critics disagree and believe the market is not so bad that investors should irrationally invest in such vast amounts of property without thinking of the possible consequences