Who Is Durkheim's Excerpts In Faust

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Durkheim Excerpts and Faust Émile Durkheim construes specific characteristics that are attributed to social isolation in excerpts from Anomie and the Modern Division of Labor, Sociology and Social Facts, and Suicide and Modernity. Durkheim’s assertion about anomie leading to endless desires and suicide can be used to evaluate the character Faust and his actions in Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Faust is a character that devoted his life to his studies and lacked any social norms or social experiences. Upon realizing this, he becomes depressed because he cannot fulfill the desires of his ‘second soul’ which will be described later. When reading Faust, the conclusion can be drawn that Émile Durkheim is not fully correct in the case of…show more content…
Durkheim describes anomie as a lack of social norms or rules that govern a person’s desires. If someone were to isolate themselves from society, they wouldn’t know what the typical desires should be, thus they would have endless wants. (Durkheim pg 5-7). Durkheim says, “No living being can be happy or even exist unless his needs are sufficiently proportioned to his means. In other words, if his needs require more than can be granted, or even merely something of a different sort, they will be under continual friction and con only function painfully,” (Durkheim pg 8). Durkheim believes that this has only a negative impact on society and the individual. To summarize his ideas, Durkheim states that social isolation leads to endless desires which is completely negative when one tries to satisfy these…show more content…
While Faust plays a big part in the untimely deaths of Gretchen, his child, Valentine, Baucis, and Philemon, Faust continues to do the Lord’s work throughout the entire novel. The Lord says, “though now he serve me but in clouded ways, soon I shall guide his spirit clears. The gardener knows about the young tree’s green haze that bloom and fruit will grace down the years,” (Goethe pg 10). The way Faust serves God is through his ambition and continual striving. God not only wants Faust to continually seek to satisfy his wants, but he allows Mephistopheles to grant any and every wish that Faust has in order to get Faust to speak the words, “Tarry a while, you are so fair.” The plot of the novel is based in Faust’s continual pursuit of his desires, which is how he serves the Lord. The devil himself mentions that he always struggles to do bad, but ultimately does good. Seeing as how God wants Faust to pursue his passions, this cannot be seen as negative, but purely
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