Thus Spoke Zarathustra

by: Friedrich Nietzsche

Part I: Chapters 11–22

Summary Part I: Chapters 11–22

On the Way of the Creator

Not everyone is suited to be an overman: freedom is only good if you can do something with it. Most people can't bear the requisite loneliness.

On Little Old and Young Women

Women want men in order to make babies; men want women in order to play. A woman's greatest virtue is her love for men, particularly strong, noble men.

On the Adder's Bite

This section criticizes the Christian ethic of "turn the other cheek." If you have been wronged, you are better off releasing your anger through a little revenge than in letting it build up inside. Someone who wrongs you has done you good, and you would put him to shame if you were to turn the other cheek.

On Child and Marriage

Marriage is good only as a means to breeding the overman. If you marry to ease your loneliness, it is merely a distraction.

On Free Death

There is an art to dying at the right time: most people cling on to life too long, and some don't live long enough. A free death is chosen by the person dying and serves as an inspiration to those still living. Socrates is a perfect example: when he died he had an heir in Plato, and his courageous death inspired his followers. Zarathustra suggests that Jesus died too young: if he'd lived longer he might have learned to be cheerful and to love life on earth for its own sake.

On the Gift-Giving Virtue

Zarathustra decides to leave the town of the Motley Cow, and gives one last address. Gifts should be given only out of an over-fullness in oneself, like Zarathustra with his wisdom. He leaves them, urging them now to seek out their own paths and not simply to follow his.

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