The above cartoon appeared in the newspaper the same day we started discussing Goethe's Faust in my class. We have not reached his deal with Mephistopheles yet, but will next time. I usually get students to discuss what, if anything, they would sell their soul for – or, if they are not comfortable with that scenario, then what they would wish for if they had one wish.
It is a real privilege to teach texts like this in a freshman seminar class. Students are often pursuing wealth, or happiness, even though on some level they know that actually pursuit of happiness is self-defeating.
The translation of Faust that we have been reading is really wonderful.