SYNTHESIS




SYNTHESIS

Literature is a diverse and bountiful area of intelligence where many ideas, ideals, and dreams can come about. Writings have come from as far back as the time of Jesus to whatever was produced yesterday. People have written superior works that can inspire, lead, and in the end, produce. Shakespear, Descartes, Voltaire, Shelly, the list goes on. Twenty-eight themes are said to apply to all types of literature. Any one of these themes is said to describe one, some, or all works done in this field. Whoever said that there are twenty-eight is incorrect at best. Actually, twenty-nine themes exist, the newly added one being the theme of cynicism. All the literary works read this first semester have, along with other minor/major themes, had one theme that will combine them all. The bond that holds all of these works together is the cynical outlook they all share on life.
Faust is the epic battle between man and his limitations with the Lord and Mephistopheles thrown into the mix just to complicate things. This is a journey that sees Mephistopheles try a backwards attempt at showing the ever cynical Faust that there is a reason to keep on living. As it is now, Faust believes that his life is miserable and that being a part of humanity can only hinder his thirst for knowledge.
The other side gives me little trouble;
First batter this present world to rubble,
Then the other may rise — if that\'s the plan.


This earth is where my springs of joy have started,
And this sun shines on me when brokenhearted;
If I can first from them be parted,
Then let happen what will and can!
I wish to heat no more about it —
Whether there too men hate and love
Or whether in those spheres too, in the future,
There is a Below or an Above.
(Faust, Faust, 994)

Humanity is a curse to Faust and he, in turn, has a very cynical view on the probability of
being human as an asset rather than a curse. "And you are fully within your rights; I have made no mad or outrageous claim. If I stay as I am, I am a slave— whether yours or another\'s, it\'s all the same." (Faust, Faust, 996) Faust sees himself as a slave to humanity and once again emphasizes his cynical outlook on the prospect of staying human.
"Who\'s there?" (Bernardo, Hamlet, p.1) Possibly the most overlooked line Shakespear has ever written even though it tells the tale of Hamlet in a mere two words. The Hamlet character is an outlet of how Shakespear viewed what was happening in the world at the time. It was the age of the Renaissance. While being the greatest period of scientific, artistic genius in human history, it also bore the mark of being the greatest period of man\'s inhumanity to man. "Who\'s there?" (Ibid) is his own commentary on the multitude of personalities going on at this time. Shakespear has cynical views toward what is happening in the world and the oscillation of people between the ideal man of Copernicus and Galileo to the evil kings and rulers of Denmark.
From the beginning of time, man has had a need to attempt to defy the stronghold that God holds on creation. The early cavemen would kill women in order to ensure a

family of males. A man by the name of Adolf Hitler was set on taking over the entire world with his specially engineered Aryan race. Mary Shelly\'s Frankenstein is the pure disregard for God in the creation of another life form. Frankenstein is Mary Shelly\'s 1984
(George Orwell). Frankenstein is Shelly\'s take on her vision of the disturbing future that she can predict happening. At the time Frankenstein was written, the scientific and industrial revolution had just finished. With the rapid advent of technology, this book is very reasonable interpretation of what many people were fearing the future would bring.
Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous
is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who
believes his native town to be the world, then he who aspires to become greater
than his nature will allow.
(Frankenstein, 52)

This quote shows the ignorance and stubbornest that Shelly sees in mankind. Humans over time have shown that they just don\'t