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MarggieHopkins posted a topic in TOEFLHello everybody! I wrote an essay for my friend, but still need somebody's help. Many thanks for help. "The Overman in Nietsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra" Friedrich Nietzsche introduces the Overman in Thus Spoke Zarathustra as the next progression in Human evolution. Humanity in its current state presents the bridge from ape to Overman, from proclaimed beast to a higher form of mankind. This is evident in Zarathustra's selection of only a few followers as opposed to addressing masses to establish his new goal of humanity, the showcasing of the Overman as an overcoming of mankind, as well as the depiction of others going "under" for the sake of the Overman's forthcoming. All can be tied to the ecological process of evolution in Zarathustra's vision of the gradual emergence of such evolved beings. The Overman embodies the progression to self-mastery as an evolution of mind rather than body, "but the awakened and knowing say: body am I entirely, and nothing else; and soul [and mind] is only a word for something about the body" (p. 144). Mind and body are in fact two parts of one complete entity, so evolution of the mind must also result in an evolution of the body, which aligns with the fundamental principles of Darwinism. Just as mutation can slowly lead a population to new compositions through spreading from a singular organism, Zarathustra realizes he must find a select subset of followers in order to exert lasting influence. Unsuccessful when addressing the masses, his teachings prevail only in the few individuals who are capable of comprehending them. He himself comes to his realizations in isolation only, when disconnected from civilization, much like a form of genetic drift. Ideas hence formulated proceed through the metamorphoses necessary to achieve a higher form of thinking. "Zarathustra had a goal; he threw his ball: now you, my friends, are the heirs of my goal; to you I throw my golden ball. More than anything, I like to see you, my friends, throwing the golden ball. And so I still linger a little on the earth: forgive me for that"(p. 186). The "golden ball" representing his teachings depicts a passing of his beliefs unto to his followers, so that they may spread them and pass them on as well, like genes passed from parent to offspring. Zarathustra presents the Overman's way of thinking as the ultimate goal of humanity: all should strive towards thought processes as the Overman would. Previously stating that humanity as of present lacks a common singular goal, though "a thousand goals have there been so far, for there have been a thousand peoples. Only the yoke for the thousand necks is still lacking: the one goal is lacking. Humanity still has no goal" (p. 172) and as such, is itself lacking. The intent of any species, ecologically speaking, is to persist and survive, but even greater so to evolve to dominate and to thrive. Scientifically, this is explained through natural selection, which is at its core, random and undirected, resulting only from a matter of chance and circumstance. The phenomenon of survival of the fittest is ever changing and essentially entirely attributable to serendipity. However, Nietzsche strays slightly from Darwinism in the sense of an evolution in a given direction, that of the highest thinking individuals. Rather than conforming to the aforementioned mold of natural selection, he desires a different kind of superior beings, those faithful to the earth and able to determine their own rules and conventions: the Overmen. Zarathustra assigns Humanity the goal of an evolution through advancement of the mind. Achievement of this can be accomplished by remaining "faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth... Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, -back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning" (p. 188). Alongside Human development through thought, the earth will progress as well, for it is perceived through the eyes of humanity, and servitude of the earth becomes the human purpose. "The earth shall yet become a site of recovery. And even now a new fragrance surrounds it, bringing salvation-and a new hope," (p. 189) and with the coming of the Overman the earth will also benefit. There is no more rudimentary an example of evolution than progression from ape to man, precisely referenced in Zarathustra's speeches. Rather than a direct descent, evolutionary theory provides a common ancestor as the source for a species progression. Ancient forms branch out to allow for new incarnations. The Overman presents as such a branching off from humankind in its present state, which serves to bridge us from ape to overman. A byproduct of this progress is that present man must be overcome in order to achieve this. "All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the overman: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape" (p. 124). The human transition to Overman is a necessary progression for the mutual advancement of both mankind and the earth. "Verily, a polluted stream is man. One must be a sea to be able to receive a polluted stream without becoming unclean. Behold, I teach you the overman: he is this sea; in him your great contempt can go under" (p. 125) and humankind as a whole will evolve as a result. "What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end: what can be loved in man is that he is an overture and a going under" (p. 127). Consequently for evolution to occur there must also be an end; for creation there must be destruction, for progress of mankind the present man must be left behind. In the original German, Nietzsche presents this as the verb untergehen, which translates as "going under", and more significantly as "to perish". For the sake of the Overman, present man must go under. This concept is fundamental to the evolution, and thusly Zarathustra speaks of going under in a relatively positive light, with a love for those who cannot themselves move forward toward Overman. A "love [for] those who do not first seek behind the stars for a reason to go under and be a sacrifice, but who sacrifice themselves for the earth, that the earth may some day become the Overman's. [For] him who lives to know, and who wants to know so that the overman may live some day. And thus he wants to go under. [Love for] him who works and invents to build a house for the overman and to prepare earth, animal, and plant for him: for thus he wants to go under" (p. 127). For the sake of the Overman, man must willingly come to an end either through bridging the gap and moving toward Overman, or sacrificing himself for the greater purpose. Zarathustra's love extends to him â€œwho justifies future and redeems past generations: for he wants to perish of the present" (p. 128). This is why war is depicted positively as well, as an instrument of change, which produces forward steps in mankind's evolution. "War and courage have accomplished more great things than love of the neighbor", (p. 159) for they act as a powerful force which drives humanity in a certain direction. Zarathustra believes the ecological balance of the earth requires such a radical push, as to achieve the desirable outcomes. â€œAll too many live, like worm eaten rot in a tree. Die at the right time. All-too-many live, and all-too-long they hang on their branches. Would that a storm came to shake all this worm-eaten rot from the tree!" (p. 184). In returning to the earth, man likewise serves his purpose. Zarathustra's vision for the Overman is a human being who transcends beyond what mankind is currently capable of, in thought and in practice. Necessary to the coming of the Overman, is the overcoming of the present man, but it is a progression toward a superior being of intellect and thought which Nietzsche presents. The Overman is a being who gives meaning to earth, and is faithful to the earth, which additionally alludes to the underlying ecological message. Zarathustra sets forth a trajectory for mankind to strive for it, which is why he addresses only his few followers, and asks them to pass on his teachings, but also to question them. Â Like the Overman, they are meant to create their own values and conventions. The name "Overman" itself implies ascension and superiority; that one must cross over a bridge to achieve it and achieve higher than the current state. Inversely there can also be descent under the loom of the Overman for those who cannot attain it, not seen as destructive, but rather a necessary result of the process of moving forward. The evolution of the human mind may not entirely follow the principles of natural selection, but it does embody Darwin's theory of development from earlier forms of life, which is deeply rooted in natural systems of the earth, just as is mirrored in the Overman's connection to the earth. As the human mind evolves, so does the human being, which in Zarathustra's eyes preferably takes us toward the Overman. Sources used: Nietzsche & Evolution, H. James Birx looks at Darwin’s profound influence on Nietzsche’s dynamic philosophy. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche Tools used: Chegg - many thanks for tutor Madina J. Ultius pro - thanks Mary Weiler for advices Grammarly, gramatical mistakes checker