The story is a moral one. I leave its development to my readers. It would be little flattering to them to suspect they required my assistance, in order to discover the obvious lessons it conveys. I have not scrupled to introduce a few verbal alterations; but the deviations from the original are very trifling.
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Peter Schlemihl’s Remarkable Story
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These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. As a child, his family was forced to migrate to Berlin as a consequence of the French Revolution. In his new home, Chamisso found a passion for the sciences, devouring the wealth of information in textbooks and articles. He took up botany during his university years and became involved in research post-graduation.
File:Chamisso Peter Schlemihl 1814.jpg
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In the story, Schlemihl sells his shadow to the Devil for a bottomless wallet the gold sack of Fortunatus , only to find that a man without a shadow is shunned by human societies. The woman he loves rejects him, and he himself becomes involved in guilt. Yet when the devil wants to return his shadow to him in exchange for his soul, Schlemihl, as the friend of God, rejects the proposal and throws away the bottomless wallet besides. He seeks refuge in nature and travels around the world in scientific exploration, with the aid of seven-league boots.