Topic: Goethe’s The Sorrow of Young Werther
In Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, the main character asks in his opening letter, “what is man that he is allowed to complain about himself?” Indeed, it seems that humans are the only earthly creatures capable of creating their own unhappiness. Unfortunately, this means that they have the capacity for producing a good deal of unhappiness in others as well. Werther seems to recognize this from the very beginning yet at the same time seems powerless to do anything about it. In that light, how do you interpret the inevitable end to which he is moving, in which Werther sets up a seemingly unavoidable complicity between Lotte and Albert with his final act. How does the central theme of suicide so carefully woven into the novel finally culminate in this dreadful way? What conclusion do you think Goethe wants the reader to come away with?
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