Werther PAPER

Werther PAPER - 1 Joaquin de Rojas 9 April 2007 Western Cultural Tradition VII-VIII Young Werther's All-Consuming Love and His Allure To Nature As

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Joaquin de Rojas 9 April 2007 Western Cultural Tradition VII-VIII Young Werther’s All-Consuming Love and His Allure To Nature As can be the case with the gifted artist, Werther is a dreamer, loner, and idealist; He lives within world of his imagination. He values the objects, persons, and occurrences of his life inasmuch as they invigorate in him feelings of love and awe. As it turns out, his understanding of the outside world is at the whim of his internal passions and emotions. When Werther’s love life is working for him, he senses the warm embrace of nature, yet if his heart burns with unrequited love, then he gives up on nature which at this point seems to him so utterly cruel. If Werther is optimistic, for whatever reason, that his love for Charlotte will work out, then he describes the natural world as blossoming, beautiful, and divine. If the prospect of the consummation of their love is shattered, however, then nature appears to him as a merciless, brute, and torturous force. Deep down inside, Werther believes that love should be lawless and limitless like nature, but when he is pressured to place restrictions on his affections for Charlotte, his idolized conception of love as an unconquerable force fails to live up to reality. In a drastic move, he decides to lose all faith in love and becomes cynical of all that is beautiful; this drastic loss of heart, in turn, shatters his idolized conception of nature. Even before meeting Charlotte, Werther lived for feelings of affection, or love, but they were not all focused on one person. During this time, Werther was able to cultivate relatively healthy relationships with his friends and acquaintances as he was able to spread his affections amongst various objects including nature. It seems that his 1
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romantic pursuits were more propitious during this time as is evidenced by his relations to the characters of Leonora, her sister (1), and the deceased girlfriend of his youth (5). It may be the impossibility of Charlotte’s love that makes Werther crave it and idolize it all the more. This allows his desire for her love to become so consuming that it eventually eclipses all other loves in his life. Regardless, Goethe portrays Werther as having a remarkable capacity and affinity for love even though it is not so incredibly focused until he meets Charlotte. On May 4 th , Werther admits to Wilhelm that he is happy away from him, even though he is basically Werther’s closest friend (1). This can be seen by how Werther is continually and exclusively in correspondence with him. At this point, Werther’s emotions are in a relatively healthy and balanced state. His love for Wilhelm is clearly not infatuation since he is able to distance himself from the man.
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2008 for the course HP 202 taught by Professor Behnegar during the Spring '08 term at BC.

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Werther PAPER - 1 Joaquin de Rojas 9 April 2007 Western Cultural Tradition VII-VIII Young Werther's All-Consuming Love and His Allure To Nature As

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