coincidence and nature - William Quartner Cornell...

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William Quartner Cornell University First Year Writing Seminar January 31, 2007 Luck’s Got Nothing To Do With It The nameless main character in Joseph Von Eichendorff’s Life of a Good-for- nothing relies on his instinct and gut in whatever he does. He never engages in an extended process of decision-making or weighs the consequences of his actions. He blindly pursues love, for instance, in the face of class differences and an overwhelming chance of failure, and when in danger or distress, he instinctively flees into nature. Luckily for him, however, chance and coincidence flourish in nature in this novella, and the Good-for-nothing’s seemingly poor and spontaneous decisions therefore amazingly enable him to realize nearly all of his dreams. Throughout his time at the palace outside Vienna, the main character is consumed by his love for a beautiful lady. Even though he believes her to be a countess, and realizes “how beautiful she [is], and how poor and how scorned and forsaken by the whole world [he is],” he spends his time “devis[ing] fine precious phrases with which to entertain
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coincidence and nature - William Quartner Cornell...

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