The Sufferings Of Young Werther, By Karen Horney

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“The period from 1700 to 1840 produced some highly sophisticated psychological theorizing that became central to German intellectual and cultural life, well in advance of similar developments in the English-speaking world” (Bell i). Some of the psychologist that have helped German literature advanced are Sigmund Freud and, in later literature, Karen Horney. Originally, Sigmund Freud studied personality and developed a theory of neurosis and later Karen Horney built upon his theory, changing some ideas, making her own theory of neurosis. Using Horney’s concepts of neurosis, and other psychological notions, one can apply these to the German literary work, “The Suffering of Young Werther.” In the German literature, “The Sufferings of Young Werther,”…show more content…
Examples of such psychology are Karen Horney’s theory of neurosis and Sigmund Freud’s theory of neurosis. Neurosis is, according to Horney, “psychic disturbance brought by fears and defenses against these fears, and by attempts to find compromise solutions for conflicting tendencies” (Langenderfer). “This describes an individual having trouble with coping and handling certain psychosocial environmental stressors resulting in problems within their selves. Also, neurotic cannot be diagnosed without looking at their culture background. Neurotic feelings and attitudes are determined by the way they live, according to Horney. However, Freud believes “instinctual drives or object relationships that are frequent in our culture are biologically determined” Horney feels Freud ignores the culture factors which consequently leads to false acquisitions” (Langenderfer). The neurotic trends are split into three main categories: needs that move you towards people, needs that move you away from people, and needs that move you against other people. Most people have a good balance between the three, but Werther falls into the first category of how he moves towards people. People, such as Werther, that have needs that move them towards people are very affectionate and clingy. People that have needs that move them away from people are hostile and antisocial. Lastly, people that have needs that move them against people are controlling and vulgar. Werther possess is the fact that without the love or affection from Lotte, he slips into an anxiety inducing depression. Another is that he wants things to be back in a simpler time, where everything was just about nature and feeling, and not about facts and reason. While he possess some of the neurotic trends that Karen Horney has found, there are others that he does not possess such as the need to feel as if he is always in control or to

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