Some Readers Committed Suicide After Reading This Book

The Sorrows of Young Werther was written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It was first published in 1774, at the time of its first publication...

Some Readers Committed Suicide After Reading This Book

The Sorrows of Young Werther was written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It was first published in 1774, at the time of its first publication many people who have read the novel committed suicide. Authorities banned the novel to prevent other readers to take their own lives as well. It turned out that readers(mostly are heartbroken males) imitated the actions of the main character, including the way the protagonist is dressed and eventually his own fate.

Some Readers Committed Suicide After Reading This Book

SPOILER ALERT!

The novel is a romantic tale and mainly revolves around three main characters; Werther, Charlotte, and Charlotte's husband. Werther the main character is deeply in love with Charlotte, a happily married woman. Charlotte rejected Werther mainly because she is already married. Driven by depression because of rejection, Werther took his own life using a pistol. Werther's actions,dress codes and his tragic fate were imitated by young men who have read the novel. In 1774, the rates of suicide among young men living in Germany, Italy and Denmark increased. The suicide rate was so alarming and it led to the prohibition of imitating Werther's clothing style.

Some Readers Committed Suicide After Reading This Book

The author himself felt remorse because his novel caused suicides among young readers, mostly men.
He wrote: 
"My...friends thought that they must transform poetry into reality, imitate a novel like this in real life and, in any case, shoot themselves; and what occurred at first among a few took place later among the general public..." (Goethe quoted in Phillips 1974:340)
Some Readers Committed Suicide After Reading This Book

Related

Paranormal 7985494934426898417

Post a Comment

emo-but-icon

Follow Us

Search This Blog

Hot in week

Recent

Comments

item