When Nietzsche Wept Themes

Irvin D. Yalom
This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of When Nietzsche Wept.
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Fear is a theme throughout When Nietzsche Wept. At the beginning, Dr. Josef Breuer is amazed by Lou Salome, not only because she is beautiful and very intelligent but also because she seems to not have any fear. She is unafraid of what will happen to her if she bucks all social customs. Her lack of fear draws others to her, especially those who are paralyzed by their own fears.

Dr. Breuer struggles with despair for most of the story, but the real source of his despair is his fear. Dr. Breuer fears aging and death. He is afraid that he will not live his chosen life before he dies. In order to avoid thinking about his aging and unavoidable death, he focuses on something he can control, his fantasies about Bertha.

Likewise, Nietzsche is consumed with a fear. He is not afraid of getting old and dying...

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This section contains 600 words
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Buy the When Nietzsche Wept Study Guide
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