Midterm - Pham 1 Kaitlin Pham Professor David Hennessee...

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Pham 1 Kaitlin Pham Professor David Hennessee English 231-01 26 October 2011 Caught in Time: The Portrayal of Women in The Sorrows of Young Werther Norwegian playwright Henrik Isben once stated that, “A woman cannot be herself in the society of the present day, which is an exclusively masculine society, with laws framed by men and with a judicial system that judges feminine conduct from a masculine point of view” (Notable-quotes.com). Isben suggests that to be a woman in the present time, a life of conforming and adjusting to the ideals of men is the top priority. Although this feat may be non-intentional, the social norms constructed of the female exploits under men’s flawless interpretation of woman are evident: women are expected to be sensitive, benevolent, and nurturing. Perhaps the modern perspective regarding women has been molded in our minds since birth, and many literary works have displayed such a disregard for the female freedoms. Johanne Wolfgang von Geothe’s The Sorrow of Young Werther portrays the primary female character stuck between two paths: a stable predestined path, or an irrational unplanned course. Throughout his novel, Goethe suggests that women have limited options and freedoms based on their gender. This can be seen through Charlotte’s secure place as the head of the household and her chosen path towards love. Charlotte S., notably known as Lotte, is first introduced in the novel as a very pretty girl who is preparing to be married to a responsible gentleman named Albert. Her first appearance in the novel shows her serving her eight siblings supper, making sure that
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2 they are well fed before she departs for party. Her motherly instincts are spectacularly shown in this instance, taking time to emphasis her crucial position in the household. It is later revealed that Lotte’s mother has passed away, leaving Lotte to care for her siblings and become the house caretaker. It is apparent that she is well suited for this position; her
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2012 for the course ENG 231 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '03 term at Cal Poly.

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Midterm - Pham 1 Kaitlin Pham Professor David Hennessee...

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