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Self Deception, Comparison Between Sorrows Of Young Werther And Frederick Douglass

1784 words - 8 pages

Self-DeceptionGoethe made a character that came in contact with several people who deceived themselves for one reason or another. Frederick Douglass came in contact with more people who made false reasons for them to believe in something. It's not rare in society that someone makes him or herself think one thing for their own satisfaction but is actually the opposite. When a person does deceive himself, society does nothing to prevent it. In fact, in most cases, societies spur the actions on, further giving the individual more of a reason to continue or increase the extent of their deeds. Also, the many similarities and differences for motivation of self-deception will be examined.In The ...view middle of the document...

We hear stories all the time about people who marry not because of love, but because of something like money, or just because there was a proposal. When they do find true love, people deceive themselves by justifying their previous actions by their commitment already made. In Werther's case, he knew that Charlotte was engaged to Albert so he had to respect one of his fellow men. Charlotte, in return, had the same feelings for Werther. She respected her agreement to Albert to marry him even though her love was not there. In their society, love is not one of the most important things in the world. Their honor and word is far superior to such individual pleasures such as love. In Werther and Charlotte's exact case, if they had not deceived themselves and gone after each other, people would see their relationship as tarnished because it broke her previous engagement. In our society today, we don't focus as much on a person's dignity as much as love. Love has exceeded almost everything else in society. There are movies being made constantly with the theme of finding true love when one is already engaged with another. Movies are major influences on how people think and how they act, and so because those films are big hits, we know that society definitely believes in love more than commitment. As this self-deception of true love changes through time, the negativity of it almost totally diminishes. This shows that our society is more focused on the individual than the whole on this topic.Frederick Douglass grew up many years ago in a society where slaves were a major part of culture. He tells of his experiences as a slave and his interactions with people who deceive themselves. One of the most self-deceptive people he mentioned was Mr. Covey, a "nigger breaker". This evil man was one of the worst masters a slave could hope for. Although everything he did seemed like he had no conscience whatsoever, Mr. Covey searched for a reason to justify what he did to all of the slaves in his control. Living in a society where religion plays a large role in both the white and the black communities, he turned to God. They lived in a society where "a single word from the white men was enough against all [their] wishes, prayers, and entreaties-to sunder forever the dearest friends, dearest kindred, and strongest ties known to human beings" (90). Mr. Covey used the "will of God" and this power already built into their society to get through to the slaves that resisted and trained them to carry out their assigned duties. With the combination of those two points of authority, he was nearly unstoppable. He had no real motivation to treat these people as bad as he did. Power and control get to the minds of some people and take over their lives, and it seems like this is exactly what happened to Mr. Covey. He basically claimed that God had given him the power to control the slaves and they need to follow his commands. To most people, God's word is the ultimate and final say....

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