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Nietzsche And The Overman

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It is clear that in the first part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche’s goal was to introduce to the public the concept of the “overman” and address its importance. The overman is the ultimate self achievement by man, and according to Nietzsche this is the goal of all humanity. The overman is capable of creating new values; ones that he sets that are free of all outside influences. Through the story of Zarathustra, a prophet who descends from the mountains into the village after years of isolation to spread his teachings of the overman, Nietzsche uses Zarathustra as the protagonist to spread his ideas about the overman. “Behold, I teach you the overman. The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth!” (p. 125) According to Zarathustra the most dangerous thing one can do in his life is to remove himself from all his current values and start anew.

To Nietzsche there are three stages to bridge from man’s current state of the “last man” to the overman. The last man has lost all possibility for change; there is no individuality just herds and shared “values.” The transitional stages are outlined in the passage “On the Three Metamorphoses.” The first stage is the camel stage, one who tests personal limits and takes on a burden or challenge. Nietzsche considers someone who challenges their values to be very noble. In the lion stage, one critically examines and really works through the burdens and values. To Nietzsche, this stage means moving towards rebirth, an important component to change. Lastly, the child stage suggests that these new values have been established, like a rebirth. However, eventually these new values can be a burden. Thus there is a continuous cycle, a self-propelled wheel, to the overman.

The most important section of the first part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra is the section titled “On Child and Marriage.” This section is Nietzsche’s climax in terms the importance of the overman and the goal of humanity. “On Child and Marriage” dictates Nietzsche’s opinion that the goal of marriage is to produce a child, specifically an overman. Marriage is only to be used as means to produce a child, not to provide companionship. “You shall not only reproduce yourself, but produce something higher. May the garden of marriage help you in that! You shall create a higher body, a first movement, a self-propelled wheel-you shall create a creator.” (p. 181-182)

Perhaps to better understand this passage it is necessary to look at “On Love of the Neighbor.” Nietzsche states “but I say unto you: your love of the neighbor is your bad love of yourselves. You flee to your neighbor from yourselves and would like to make a virtue out of that: but I see through your вЂ?selflessness.вЂ™Ð²Ð‚Ñœ (p. 172) Nietzsche thinks that humanity is incapable of loving one another without an ulterior motive. However he states the difference to him between the neighbor and a friend. “The friend should be the festival of the earth of the earth to you and an anticipation of the overman. I teach you the friend and his overflowing heart…Let the future and the farthest be for you the cause of your today: in your friend you shall love the overman as your cause.” (p. 174)

By examining On Love of The Neighbor, it is easier to understand why Nietzsche disapproves of marriage for companionship. Humanity is not always honest in their friendships for



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