Reading Response Of The Sorrows Of Young Werther By Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe Humanism 101 Reading Response

564 words - 3 pages

A reading of The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe can offer the reader several insights concerning what it means to be human and how to do so excellently well. I will argue that the most important of these insights, is the claim that to be human means to have a set of values including being altruistic, having justice and reason; and without these certain values, an individual might lead his life to a path of his own undoing.
Werther is shown as a very insensitive and a reckless young man at the beginning of the novel, when he mentions “poor Leonore” (25) with whose emotions he has toyed with and he has left heartbroken. And even despite of this he seemed rather unaffected by it. This reveals that Werther is a self-absorbed person. His series of letter that he writes to his dear friend does not show evidence that Werther listens to him. In the rare situation that he does, it is usually to reject his advice or to justify a mistake. Thus, Werther comes to the point where he becomes so self-absorbed that he isolates himself; and nobody could change his actions, emotions, and perceptions because he was not willing to listen to anybody. Moreover, the only break that is seen from Werther’s narration is when he has descended so far into his madness that the editor must take over and explain that Werther has succumbed to his passions and let the readers know that he has died. Werther lacked the virtue of altruism or selflessness, and because of this lack of virtue, his self-absorption was allowed to rule him; and it led him to mistreat...

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