What are key points in Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship? 

Expert Answers
seaofknowledge eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The foremost point in Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship is most certainly the process, experiences, ironic coincidences and ultimately destiny, that allows Wilhelm to attain maturity and self-realization.

This is the story of Wilhelm who dreams of working in theater but upon being deceived by his love interest, an actress, falls into sadness and gives up on his dream. He takes up the assignment to collect debts for his father's business which takes him to a town with a theater troupe. He ends up becoming leader of a theater troupe but loses it just as quickly. His experiences take him to a place called "The Society of the Tower." He discovers that everyone has a scroll about their life here and certain noble individuals are given apprenticeships. Wilhelm is one of them and the secret society guides him in his transformation and self-realization in which he achieves an ideal personality.

Perhaps the best way to understand this is to think about what Wilhelm says at the very end of the story in response to Freidrich:

 ...to my mind, thou resemblest Saul the son of Kish, who went out to seek his father’s asses, and found a kingdom.”

“I know not the worth of a kingdom,” answered Wilhelm; “but I know I have attained a happiness which I have not deserved, and which I would not change with anything in life.”

At the end of the story, Wilhelm is a business partner for a theater and he has found love. In the beginning of the story, he hated business and had given up on love. So this entire story is about the transformation of Wilhelm as a person, his worldview. The incidents which led him to where he was now probably seemed like strange events and coincidences in the beginning. But finally he understands that, in a way, it was all meant to be and it has all worked out for the best.

Read the study guide:
Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question