The Sorrows of Young Werther

Werther As a Force of Nature

From the beginning of The Sorrows of Young Werther, Werther emphasizes his connection to Nature in order to embellish the tragically creative persona he presents to Wilhelm. As his infatuation with Charlotte grows and he laments the injustice and misfortune of his situation, his views distort; we see his self-perceived affinity with Nature becoming more twisted and less peaceful. A turning point in this tranformation can be seen in his entry of 18 August; Nature is no longer sublime and beautiful to him, but merely sublime and filled with the potential for destruction: Werther finds himself paralyzed by the thoughts of his own destructive powers.

Werther is describing the anguish of his unrequited love for Charlotte, which has transformed his previous love for Nature into torment. The extent of his torment is described in the form of a vision: âIt is as if a curtain had been drawn from before my eyes,â? hinting at an epiphany-changed Werther, expecting to feel attachment and oneness with Nature, but âinstead of prospects of eternal life, the abyss of an ever-open grave yawned before me.â? The image of a curtain being drawn aside to reveal a Truth which concerns âthe prospects of eternal lifeâ? has strongly religious...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 943 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7592 literature essays, 2145 sample college application essays, 318 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in