The Sorrows of Young Werther is a loosely autobiographical epistolary novel by Johann . Thomas Mann's novel Lotte in Weimar recounts a fictional reunion between Goethe and his youthful passion, Charlotte Buff. The German film Goethe! is a fictional account of the relations between the young Goethe. His religious beliefs, his love affairs, his relationships with other writers, Goethe's first novel, “The Sorrows of Young Werther,” is better known. 28 MICHAEL GRATZKE Given Werther's complex relationship with motherly figures When his attempts at anchoring his world in Lotte's affection in this world .. 38 MICHAEL GRATZKE did not need writing-as-therapy, and for Werther it did.
Yet, Goethe substantially reworked the book for the edition  and acknowledged the great personal and emotional influence that The Sorrows of Young Werther could exert on forlorn young lovers who discovered it.
The Sorrows of Young Werther - Wikipedia
As he commented to his secretary in"It must be bad, if not everybody was to have a time in his life, when he felt as though Werther had been written exclusively for him. Copycat suicide The Sorrows of Young Werther turned Goethe, previously an unknown author, into a literary celebrity almost overnight.
Napoleon Bonaparte considered it one of the great works of European literature, having written a Goethe-inspired soliloquy in his youth and carried Werther with him on his campaigning to Egypt. It also started the phenomenon known as the "Werther Fever", which caused young men throughout Europe to dress in the clothing style described for Werther in the novel. The men were often dressed in the same clothing "as Goethe's description of Werther and using similar pistols.
One of these, Friedrich Nicolaidecided to create a satirical piece with a happy ending, entitled Die Freuden des jungen Werthers "The Joys of Young Werther"in which Albert, having realized what Werther is up to, loaded chicken's blood into the pistol, thereby foiling Werther's suicide, and happily concedes Charlotte to him.
After some initial difficulties, Werther sheds his passionate youthful side and reintegrates himself into society as a respectable citizen.
This argument was continued in his collection of short and critical poems, the Xenienand his play Faust. Alternative versions and appearances[ edit ] This section needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. September Learn how and when to remove this template message In Mary Shelley 's FrankensteinFrankenstein's monster finds the book in a leather portmanteau, along with two others — Plutarch 's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romansand Milton 's Paradise Lost. He sees Werther's case as similar to his own, of one rejected by those he loved.
The book influenced Ugo Foscolo 's The Last Letters of Jacopo Ortiswhich tells of a young man who commits suicide, out of desperation caused not only by love, but by the political situation of Italy before the Unification.
Please be so good as to tell my mother that I shall attend to her affair as best I can and send her a report of it as soon as possible. I have seen my aunt and find her far from being the vixen that people at home make of her. She is a lively woman with the best of hearts.
We hear nothing more about whether things work out as he expects. Presumably they have because the matter is never raised again. He finds he likes the rural area to which he has been sent: Solitude in this paradise is a precious balm to my heart, and this youthful time of year warms with all its fullness my oft-shivering heart.
Earlier on in that first letter he writes: And yet it was not my fault. Could I help it that while the compelling charms of her sister gave me agreeable entertainment, that poor heart developed its own passion? And yet — and I quite without fault? Did I nourish her feelings?Make It or Break It: Couples Counseling
And yet I was not to blame. Was it my fault, that, while the capricious charms of her sister afforded me agreeable entertainment, a passion for me developed in her poor heart? And yet — am I wholly blameless?
On Goethe’s Werther
Did I encourage her emotions? Is it no wonder the book opens with: How happy I am to be gone. No doubt he jumped at the opportunity to put a little distance between him and the besotted young woman which adds a certain degree of serves-him-rightness to what happens subsequently. The next time we hear of her is in a letter dated July 20th: You said that my mother would like to see me engaged in some activity; that made me laugh. Am I not active as it is? Trees play an important role as leitmotifs in the book.
Werther likes where he is just now. Perhaps this is another reason why he prefers to stay put. He idealises the peasants he chooses to spend time with and, uncharacteristically for the time, goes out of his way to earn their respect and win their affection. Uniformity marks the human race. Most of them spend the greater part of their time in working for a living, and the scanty freedom that is left to them burdens them so that they seek every means of getting rid of it.
The Truth About Lies: The Sorrows of Young Werther
After a couple of months he writes: He is the most punctilious fool that can exist: He tolerates it for a while but eventually packs the job in — much like Holden getting himself expelled from Pencey Prep. What happens is that he is snubbed socially by some of the local aristocrats.
Back on June 16th Werther had written to his friend: Our young people had arranged a dance out in the country, which I willingly agreed to attend. I offered to escort a nice, pretty, but otherwise commonplace local girl, and it was settled that I should hire a carriage, drive my partner and her cousin out to the place of the festivities, and on the way stop to take Charlotte S.
Lotte, as he comes to know her, is a young woman, the eldest of a large family of motherless children, to whom she herself has become a mother.
Certainly as far as Werther is concerned. In the carriage he almost forgets there is anyone else there with them. Lotte finds Werther charming company and is especially thrilled to discover that he can waltzsomething that, apart from one other couple, the locals do not excel at.
We were astute and let them romp their fill, and when the clumsiest couples had quit the field, we swung in and held out valiantly with one other couple, Audran and his partner. Never have I been so light on my feet. I was no longer human.
To hold in my arms the most loveable creature, and flying about her like lightning, so that everything about me faded away, and — to be honest, Wilhelm, I did swear to myself all the same that a girl I loved and had a claim upon should never waltz with anyone but me, and even if I lost my life over it.
You know what I mean! She agrees and he becomes a regular visitor. He learns her routine and it is not unusual for them to bump into each other while out walking. Her children take to him and he to them.
As the days pass he becomes more and more besotted and cares little for propriety. Art, in short, is not to blame. But what of the opposite point of view? There are among this number those others of us who do not enjoy the violence, either depicted in artistic terms or encountered in real life, who attempt to eliminate the whole tawdry mess by lumping it all together as something undesirable to be gotten rid of.
Is it only a chance acquaintance with a young woman like the beautiful Lotte which inspires such self-destruction by an unsuccessful suitor? Or what of his signal and powerful humiliation at the hands of a Count who had befriended him, brought on by the interference of others who did not like him?
It is, though overly sentimental in its manner of expression quite often, not only a romance but also a casebook for our times.