The confusing thing is that I always have some real basic motivation, and how I go so wrong, I can never understand. (p. 92)
Bellow gives us insight into his protagonist via the first person pov (Henderson), though this is a self-image and the reader must assimilate it with his own opinions based on what the character relates as his actions, both from the past (colored by the character’s own memory–if this is conforming to the realistic world) and his current situation. Henderson is being hard on himself, and yet he is no better or worse than most of the human race.
That’s called developing empathy, and Bellow has indeed achieved this element of writing.