The personalities of our four protagonists have splintered, their characters corroded. They perpetually try to self-optimise in pursuit of a perfect public image. They are children of their time, role models to no one but themselves.
And like Faust and Leverkühn before them, they too enter into a pact with the devil...
“…Thus everything that that your terms, sin, destruction, evil represent - That is my proper element.”
Source: Goethe, Faust, Part One, 1808