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Word Count: 4,172
To most people analyzing The Sorrows of Young Werther is a simple task Relying on the worldview of a pragmatic technology-driven and self-assured society they look at Werther and see a young romantic who because of personal weakness developed an obsession with a woman probably because he knew he could not have her Gradually as he realized the folly of his attraction his fanciful emotions turned into a psychosis and a desire to hurt those who had rejected him through suicide The perverse mental disease underlying the his wild yearnings is thus revealed and the wickedness of his actions thoroughly understood This description of Werthers obsession and his perverse mental disease is hardly any less sympathetic than Alberts when he calls Werthers passion intoxication Dismissing Werther comes easily for most people They may call him a tragic figure or a spurned lover but their sympathy denies the motivations at the heart of his obsession Many probably read the story and immediately put it away because they feel Werthers passion has no bearing on their lives Their dismissal of Werther is conspicuous They seem to want to suppress him like some sort of strange rebel representing passion romance and all sorts of fanciful notions They have no idea that Goethe brilliantly has forced them to suppress themselves Werther is a rebel who becomes isolated from society because of his beliefs and as a result must directly confront the loneliness from which most people hide His failure to overcome his loneliness results in his obsession with Lotte and reveals the universal need for empathic love and mankinds denial of that need Werther represents on one level the individual whose beliefs emotions and social position isolate him from society To begin with artists powers of perception and sensitivities to beauty and nature generally separate them from most people Werthers sensibilities including his reverence for nature and feelings about love disrupt his ability to involve himself with
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