The Sorrows of Young Werther


Title: The Sufferings of Young Werther

Author: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Translator: Mahmoud Haddadi

Publisher: Mahi

Subject: German stories

Age category: Adult

Number of pages: 224

Language: Farsi



The Sorrows of Young Werther was used by eighteenth-century young people as a practical book on foreplay. The book is full of deep emotions that seem exaggerated and sometimes childish to today’s reader. However, the book by Goethe, the famous German author, is composed of deep themes that can be considered a modern work: a book about the sufferings we suffer from love.

A subject that never gets old. Werther, the protagonist of the book, suffers from one of the worst forms of love sickness:

the girl he loves does not fall in love with him because he has a fiancé. Such a relationship actually happened to Goethe, but he manages to save himself from death by replacing another lover.

Summary of The Sufferings of Young Werther
The book is based on Werther’s letters to his friend Wilhelm, and begins with a period in Werther’s life when he recently ended his love affair with a woman named Leonora. After this incident, Werther settled in a village and is determined to spend his time drawing, painting and touring around the village. Werther is not very hardworking.

He came from an urban and aristocratic environment to a rural one, and in the first encounter he enjoys the way of life of the villagers, which is reminiscent of the ancient patriarchy.

During his stay in the village, Werther became acquainted with many peasants and befriended two farmer brothers, Philip and Hans, and a rural young man who fell in love with his widow.
It does not take long for Werther to reach a place full of medicines and enchantments in his search around the village. The charm is heightened when Werther meets the young judge’s daughter, Charlotte, at the ballroom. Their common tastes in reading lead to interest in Werther. Unfortunately, the girl is engaged to a happy man named “Albert” and Werther can only be satisfied with a friendly association.

As Werther stays in the village, Werther becomes more and more interested in him to the point where he can no longer satisfy himself with a friendly relationship. With the arrival of “Albert” in the village, the situation becomes complicated. Werther has a plan to win the Indus relationship in his favor, but time has set a desperate destiny for all three of them. A fate that never occurred to Werther.

An examination of Goethe’s life and works

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1832-1749) was the son of a wealthy government employee and lawyer who was raised by his father to pursue a career. To this end, Goethe began his studies at the University of Leipzig when he was only sixteen years old, but soon realized that he preferred painting and poetry to law.

Wolfgang Goethe left university without a degree and returned to his hometown of Frankfurt. Where he published several poems and his first play. With this publication, Goethe became famous, but he was still far from his global brilliance.

Despite these successes, Goethe’s father still longed for his son to continue his education. As a result, Goethe returned to university to complete his education and became a lawyer at the age of 23.

Goethe’s friend’s suicide greatly influenced him during this period, and later inspired the story of The Worrower’s sufferings (The Sorrows of Young Werther, Novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe).

The writing of this book was a great success for him. Shortly after the book was published, a high-ranking nobleman became a supporter and friend of Goethe, and Goethe soon found various jobs in the Weimar government. Goethe continued his literary activity and created other brilliant works, including his magnificent Faust.
Johann von Goethe’s works sparked a literary movement throughout Germany. In later years, Goethe supplemented his articles with prestigious scientific journals in a variety of fields such as botany and meteorology. His wide range of interests and skills elevated him to a high position in the world community and influenced many later thinkers such as Nietzsche and Hegel, two German philosophers.

The story of Werther’s sufferings has been translated into Persian many times.

“Jami Publishing” translated by “Seyed Saeed Firoozabadi” and “Fish Publishing” translated by “Mahmoud Haddadi” have published the book. Prior to the publication of these two translations, Nashr-e Tir had released the book in 2002 with a translation by Farideh Mahdavi.

Take a look at the theme of Young Werther’s book Sufferings
The book The Sufferings of Young Werther has many themes. One of these themes is a closer look at the concept of social class. At the beginning of the story, the reader soon realizes that Verter is dissatisfied with his job situation. Some of the reasons for this dissatisfaction can be traced to Werther’s character. First of all, Werther’s mood is not suitable for office work. He soon gets tired of working behind the scenes. Second, he hates the tedious details that a regular court official deals with.

In addition to all this, Goethe has created a personality that has everything in appearance: young, noble, and a lot of free time and money.

When Werther travels from the city to the countryside, he at first rapidly enjoys and admires the simplicity and primitive relations of the people left over from earlier periods of man in early communities.
However, in the face of the villagers, he has a patriarchal secretary who looks down on them. Werther’s fanatical behavior is more pronounced than that of Charlotte, who grew up in the countryside but enjoyed the same knowledge and culture as Werther.

Family is another key concept in the book.

Werther has problems with his mother. He never communicates directly with his mother and enlists the help of his friend Wilhelm. The lack of proper family relationships is painful for Werther. It is this deficiency that draws him to the Charlotte family.
Charlotte’s family relationship is peaceful and cordial, despite problems such as the death of her mother and the difficulty of earning a living for its many people. The self-sacrificing image of the family’s mother and the large number of children that make the living environment all play a role in Werther’s passion for the Charlotte family.

The Impact of Werther Young Suffering

From the publication of the first edition of the book in 1774, local authorities objected to the book’s immoral content, and the book was soon banned from sale. But this repression not only did not work, but also stimulated people’s desire to read books. This period coincides with the peak of literary activity throughout Europe. The culture of reading books has become popular among the people and the people of the city are reading at all times. Fans of the book, like the ancient sect, have their own rules and behaviors.

In such a context, the novel The Sufferings of Young Werther finds a chance to shine and to influence the social and cultural conditions of Germany to such an extent that it can be considered a kind of cultural “cult”. Cult literally means cult, and today it is a phenomenon that is so popular that it creates social value.
The book The Sufferings of Young Werther is referred to as the Werther Fever. Werther’s fever refers to all the behaviors of Goethe’s proponents. Young people dressed like Werther, the protagonist of the book, imitated his tone of speech and pretended to love the profession. Women dressed and behaved like Charlotte. Worst of all was the rising suicide rate among young people.

All these social events caused the anger and dissatisfaction of the clergy.

They called the book evil because it made suicide a beautiful and justified act. Philosophers and thinkers, on the other hand, confronted the clergy and considered the work to have valuable and respectable meanings.
Goethe’s book and its effects have been hotly debated for a long time. Germany was in turmoil. Everyone was imitating Werther’s work. The translation of the book spreads this fever to other parts of Europe as well. A famous quote from Napoleon is reported to have been read more than seven times. The uproar from Young Werther’s book Sufferings shows that thousands of people can be sent to their deaths just by moving a pen.

In excerpts from Werther Young Suffering, we read:
“I wish every person would say to himself every day that the best thing you can do for your friends is to see their happiness and increase their happiness by participating in this happiness. “If one day you see that their souls and hearts are tormented by a horrible feeling and their hearts are disturbed by grief, do you offer to alleviate any of their suffering?”

So, when were the days when he proudly said that he had a government for himself?

The mother said with a pitying smile that she was safe from this man. He means the days when no one knew himself. These are the days he misses, those days when he was in the corner of the hospital. Those days when he did not know who and where he was.
I have met many different people, but I have not yet found an interviewer. I do not know what is in my being, it is attractive and pleasant for others, because others are always looking for companionship with me, they become dependent on me, and I am constantly suffering when we have to follow a single path. ; Although for a few seconds!

If you ask me how the people of this region are, I will immediately answer: “Like everywhere …” The human race is, strangely, the same and similar. Most people have to work hard most of the time to stay alive, and the small amount they have left over is so overwhelming that they use every possible way to get rid of it. Ah! O human destiny!
Humanity’s natural inclination tempts us to move our hands … Do not children, for their part, always try to grasp what they see, hold it fast and hold it in their fists? So what am I …?

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