World Literature 3
Faust shows successfully our want for power and knowledge. You basically get a spoiled kid with every advantage, seeks out the devil, signs away his soul without serious contemplation, harasses various kings and religious types, then gets hacked to death when his contract expires. He explores the territory of longing for lost youth (or maybe how youth is squandered on the young), public shaming of a fallen woman, a somewhat deeper look at the question of "why be a brilliant scholar if I do not have as much power as God?" and does so eloquently.
As I read Faust, I was pondering what the purpose of the characters in this book was.
All of the characters seem to appear in the writing and play their part and then they are gone. We follow Faust and Mephistopheles through their journey and as they meet people we become intrigued by them only to never find out what has happened to them. The one character that we follow to the end is Gretchen. We see her life when she meets Faust and follow her until her death. I felt like we had been left to ponder the other characters and their purpose in the book. This happens with Faust as well.
We never find out what happens to him. I felt like this was a story almost centered on Gretchen. I believe Faust will triumph in the end because he realizes that Mephistopheles is only messing everything up for him, and realize that having a…