From the first storytellers to the most recent Poet Laureate, inner emotion has always fueled the creators of language art. Without inner conflict, and emotion stemming from that conflict, there is no wood to make the fire burn, no motivation behind the words. While all artistic authors have emotion as an inspiration for their works, and all poets use emotion as the stimulus for or subject of their writings, the sentimentalists took the most intense standpoint on the emotional spectrum in artistic writing. Because of their almost melodramatic use of emotion, and their willingness to delve into the most intimate of feelings, the sentimentalist writers like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, were perhaps the best authorities on writing about emotion.
Emotion is the flame that powers the human experience and Goethe exemplifies this extreme passion characteristic of sentimentalism. Out of all of the sentimentalist works, Goethe complies to every feature of this literary movement: the immediate logging of feelings experienced, the intensity in which these feelings are described, the use of nature as a reflection of human nature, and the plot driving the emotions. Goethe's novel The Sufferings of Young Werther, contains every one of these aspects of sentimentalism.
The Sufferings of Young Werther is an entirely epistolary novel, where Werther documents his every emotional experience. Each time he has an experience, he is swayed by an intense feeling, chronicles it, and sends it in a letter to his friend Wilhelm. This is an immediate and effective expression of his sentiment, characteristic of the power of sentimentalism. Because this novel is roughly autobiographical, it is a perfect reflection of emotional impact on humans. Goethe and Werther are similar, and like a sentimentalist writer would document his days in detail, so does Werther, making this novel accurate in its intense emotional truth. The sentimentalists, like Goethe, are the most overtly expressive of emotion. He is extreme in his articulation of what an emotion is, and what it does to a person.
Goethe is nearly theatrical in his intensity when feeling and describing these sensations. For example, on August 30 when writing to his friend Wilhelm about his love Lotte, Werther exclaims “...I see everything in the world about me only in relation to her. And this brings me many a happy hour-until I must tear myself away from her again. Oh Wilhelm! The things my heart often urges me to do!” Werther's emotion is so influential on him that he even contemplates the possibility of suicide due to his feelings. This novel is brimming with overly explicit expressions showing Werther's (and indirectly Goethe's) willingness...