Monday, February 18, 2008

Lunchtime read: The Sorrows of Young Werther

In the end it is hard to feel too sympathetic for Werther because he plants a seed of destruction at the heart of Lotte’s relationship with her husband Albert. As the end draws near there is an interesting shift in focus with the reader being given a chance to see into the mind of Lotte.

She is torn between anger and love wanting on the one hand for Werther to leave her alone and then on the other hand expressing loneliness at his absence. She seems to know what is coming and also senses how much her husband Albert is ambivalent towards his rival.

But the long rambling suicide note not only tells Lotte how much he loved her but also does plenty of damage for Albert. It is pretty hard to compete with a dead man and so Werther exploits his last act to ensure his memory will be etched onto Lotte’s heart.

A review will follow soon (after I get through the queue)…

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