A Literary Analysis of the Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe is not just about a young man who is obsessed with a young woman and kills himself because he cannot have her. The main theme is more about passion. Werther is passionate about practically anything. Werther clearly values nature, youthfulness, society and the love for Lotte. He is totally dominated by his hopeless passion for all things in life.

From the beginning of the story Werther takes particular pleasure in nature. He tells William | feel content herethe abundance of this youthful season gives warmth to a heartevery tree, every hedgerow is a bouquet.

Werther is devoted to nature; his whole being is filled with a marvelous gaiety, like the sweet spring morning. When his mother first sends him on the journey he says he is alone and glad to be alive. He talks about a spring he is mysteriously drawn to: the natural beauty that surrounds him enchants him. He goes on to talk about the footpath that leads to the villageoverlooking the entire valley.

He puts so much emotion into his letters to William about the most marvelous sunrisethe trees, wet, the fields refreshedblustering wind stormsrush of a forest that we can see exactly why he has such a passion for nature. He has an appreciation of nature down to the most significant stone or blade of grass. Werthers passions of nature tends to be seen in his emotions the same way as nature changes the season he writes as all nature tends toward autumn, it becomes autumn with in me, my leaves turn yellow.

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Werther not only values nature but he values children and the innocence that children bring to this world. Soon after arriving to this small town he writes to his friend telling him the simple folk already know me and seem to be fond of me, especially the children. It brings joy to his simple life, giving some relief to his loneliness, to know that he has children in his life-from giving pennies to a womans less fortunate children to reading and playing with Lottes younger brothers and sisters. In a letter to William he writes Yes, dear William, nothing is dearer to me than childrenas I watch them! recognizethe ability to pass lightlyeverything so unspoiled. Children represent simplicity to life, innocence, and a purity he longs for.

Another value he has is his passion for society. He finds his social status it placed in between the lower and upper classes. He finds himself not particularly liking either class; to him the aristocrats are snobby and uptight and the lower class work to hard for what little they have. His negative attitude toward the aristocrats comes to light when he describes a social gathering at the Count von C. home to William. Werther tells William first to enter was oh so honorable Lady von S. with her spouse and the little goose of a daughter the two of them managed to hatch. From this description of Lady von S. one can clearly see the distaste he has for the people of the higher social status. He goes on to show is dislike by calling Lady von S. daughter a scheming goose with her flat little chest. He is clearly has no connection those that are not his equal. He fails to understand the lower class citizens of the town, saying most of them have to work for the greater part of their lives in order to live and little freedom they havethey stop at nothing to rid themselves of it. He finds it utterly frustrating that the lower class people do not have the freedom the upper class citizens have. But, neither of the social class really matter; his true passion in society is that he is able to be free, one with nature, to work on his artistic, emotional, and romantic lifestyle as he see fit. His love for nature helps describe his passion for his free lifestyle when he writes, only nature is infinitely rich and capable of developing a great artistthere is something to be said for the advantage of rules and regulationson the other handrules and regulations ruin our true appreciation of nature and our powers to express it.

Werther values his love for Lotte greater than any other passion he may have. From the first time they meet his passion for her is clear. He writes to William about how he met a most endearing creature. Even though she is engaged to another man, Albert, Werther convinces himself that Lotte loves him. He relocates to be closer to her so he can experience every happiness known to man. He feels that life is nothing without love, without a doubt, the only thing that makes a mans life on earth essential and necessary is love. The love he has is not a typical love, like the love of a husband for his wife, but it is an obsession. Werther writes William you should see what an idiot | am when she is mentioned in public. His passion for Lotte takes complete control of his life in every aspect. He runs errands for Lotte just so he can visit with her every day. He may tell himself that he will see her less ofteneveryday giving into the temptation. To him life is good until the day that Albert comes back; the return of Albert has torn him apart. Not being able to see Lotte as much as he may like he writes to his friend I behave like an idiotl watch for times when he is busyl find her alone I feel perfectly wonderful. Because of his hopeless passion for Lotte and the respect he has for Albert, he comes to the decision to take an administrative job and leave. After a few months there he is snubbed at the social gather, where he decides he will leave and return to where Lotte lives. Werther goes on to tell his friend without her all of it is nothing. Knowing that there is no way that he will ever be able to have the women he desires he commits suicide. He writes his true love a letter, before he kills himself, he writers her I have come to a decision. I want to die…Oh I knew you loved meyou are mine, Lotte, foreverl was granted the good fortune to die for you, Lotte, to sacrifice myself for you. Werthers obsession for Lotte eventually becomes madness. He feels that he is dieing for her love and that they will be together after death.

At times we may despise him, or admire him, or even more accurately we do both. Werther writes, discovers, and defines himself through his writing. The drama that lies beneath this novel shows Werthers true feelings and his sense of himself. The Sorrows of Young Werther is more than a story of doomed love; it explores the particular workings of desire in one individual. This novel also goes as far as to demonstrate that Werthers critique of society is still relevant in today society.

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A Literary Analysis of the Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe. (2022, May 09). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-literary-analysis-of-the-sorrows-of-young-werther-by-goethe/

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