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Schiller Paper - Melissa Harintho GE 13186-01 McChesney...

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Melissa Harintho GE 13186-01, McChesney Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness “The way you see people is the way you treat them and the way you treat them is what they become ,” claimed Goethe, notably the most famous German author of all time. Dynamic physician/ historian/ author/ poet/ dramatist Friedrich Schiller reigns second only to Goethe in the history of German literature. Unlike his colleague Goethe, however, Schiller was born into a lower class of society, and was coerced early in life into becoming an army surgeon. Schiller’s first literary works reflect his bitter feelings over the lack of control over his fate by depicting idealistic heroes who meet their downfall solely because of stronger adversaries. Later in his career, however, Schiller grew more aware of the dangers of overzealous idealism. His later works display a more cautious avocation of liberty, but strong themes of individual freedom and inevitable fate continued to intertwine in his works. The Pitival crime cases struck particular interest in Schiller, who believed that historical literature should stimulate readers to examine everyday situations in which “life, liberty, and property” are at stake. In his version of the Pitival case, “The Criminal From Lost Honor,” Schiller utilizes shifts in narrative perspective and elements of the detective genre to validate Goethe’s observation concerning the relationship between society and individual development. Schiller’s alterations in narrative perspective throughout the story create an equivocal tone that compels readers to consider the protagonist with unbiased judgment.
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