Sample book review


Sample book review

Title: The conception of freedom

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The epistolary novel analyzes the tragic love of Werther to the pretty but unattainable Lotte. Goethe’s literary works were great and eclectic, involving collections of poetry, novels, plays and research works. It is a tragic tale, wonderfully written, about a young man who turns besotted with another man’s woman – Lotte, and cannot disguise his feelings. Goethe’s first literary hero “Werther” surpasses “Hamlet” and commits suicide as a consequence not just of his sufferings but also of his goodness and of his own conception of freedom.
In the introduction Johann Wolfgang von Goether writes: "The decision to let my inner self lead me at will...drove me into the splendid element in which Werther was planed and written" (Goether, p.133). The story describes Werther, a middle-class artist, who falls in love with Lotte, who is Albert’s fiancée. Although Lotte cares for Werther in return, she stays faithful to her fiancée. As he cannot be with his beloved Lotte, Werther decides to commit suicide.
The Sturm und Drang group wanted to publish more middle-class writings and this novel is an instance of that. Werther is a very emotional man who longs to be free from the society’s prejudices. Some readers may say that Werther is a whiner, but it is not quite correct to think so. All of Werther's emotions are intense. He takes great delight and is carried away by the countryside where he is still free and does not know what will happen to him in some time, and falls into deep depression when his love stays unsatisfied and he looses himself and sinks in this forbidden love.
Some time after she left him, Goethe learnt of an acquaintance that had committed suicide due to a situation of that kind. Goethe creates just before the Romantic Movement in Germany. One Romantic ideal was that the artist or man on the whole, by force of his position as a human being, can never become perfect and must always come off badly. Writers of the Romanticism epoch were obsessed with death, and particularly with sick people, because death, presumably, finally gives freedom and unites man with the Infinite. Werther loved Lotte very much because he saw something within her.
He was also determined about death. As the week passed on, he became silent and even more intended to die. It was Sunday, December 20th, when he wrote his first letter about his death: "...granted the good fortune to die for you, to sacrifice myself for you" (Goethe, p.129). This finishes Werther's previous identifications of himself with Christ - the crown of thorns, the blank despair on the cross and now the thought that his death is a sacrifice and a road to freedom.

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