In this closing section, the charcoal asks the diamond why it’s so hard and the coal why it’s so soft—after all, diamonds and coal are closely related. Speaking as the hammer, Nietzsche asks his audience why they are “so soft.” Why have they abandoned faith and fallen into a state of distress and uncertainty? He urges the reader to “become hard,” or else they won’t be able to “create” with him.
Nietzsche adapts this final section’s premise from his book Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In Book III of Zarathustra, “Of Old and New Law-Tables,” Zarathustra tries to create a new value system that can replace traditional value systems, and he determines that the creator of new values must destroy the old to “create” the new. In Zarathustra and here, as well, Nietzsche is urging his audience to reject the traditional morality that has made them “soft” and subservient and “become hard” and strong to “create” a new value system that affirms life and human passions.