The Sorrows of Young Werther Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What two things does Werther compare in his argument in the letter of August 12?

2. With whom does Werther converse near the plow in the town square?

3. What does the main character find enjoyable about the area he has arrived at in the first letter?

4. What subject do Werther and the other young people discuss at the vicar's home?

5. What does Werther think of Albert?

Short Essay Questions

1. How has his acquaintance with Lotte affected Werther up to and including the letter of July 24?

2. What activities does Werther engage in now that he is away from his friends and in a new town?

3. Who does Werther meet while sitting on a plow in Wahlheim's town square, and what is the substance of their various interactions with Werther?

4. What is Werther's opinion of his aunt?

5. What specific space, which Werther found in his explorations of the town, does he find pleasurable?

6. To what does Werther compare Lotte's influence on him in the letter of July 26, and what the effects of her influence upon him?

7. What is the substance of the conversation between Werther and his companions at the vicar's home?

8. How has Werther's life or attitudes changed after falling in love with Lotte?

9. What example does Werther give Albert regarding the justifiability of suicide, and why does Werther take the standpoint he does?

10. What are Lotte's views on books and reading?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe Werther as a character. Focus not only on how he looks and acts, but also specifically on how he expresses his feelings and thoughts, how he fits or does not fit into society, his tone and personality, and the general development of his character. How does he begin the novel, and how does he end it? What are his relationships with others like, and what are they based upon? What is Werther's worldview? How does he view himself? What is his style of writing?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the representations of lower-class and upper-class people and society that occur throughout the novel. How does Werther describe upper-class and lower-class people? Could there be any political meaning to Goethe's representations of them, and of Werther's interactions with them, in the text? How does Werther see himself in relation to each portion of society? Offer at least two each of Werther's interactions with upper- and lower-class individuals or groups to explain your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Examine the theme of suicide and the way Goethe addresses the morality and justifiability of it throughout the novel. Does Werther's pitiable state of mind, his decimated feelings, and his unrequited love excuse, or explain, his choice? How does Werther convince himself that suicide is the right and only path for him? What events, people, or feelings influence his decision? What is each main character's position on the morality or justifiability of suicide? What was the effect of Werther's suicide on Goethe's readers and critics: how did they interpret this act? How does the Editor influence what you perceive as the novel's overall message regarding suicide?

(see the answer keys)

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