Mann carefully combines philosophy and psychology in Death in Venice, and these two general areas of intellect are in conflict throughout the novella. Specifically, it is the philosophy of art, one's quest for beauty, and the psychological theory of repression derived from Freud that present themselves as key concerns in the metaphor of disease. Aschenbach, in his question for beauty, and in his repressed upbringing as an outcast of sorts from his great forefathers lead to the internal conflict he personifies.
"His forebears had been officers, judges, bureaucrats, men who had led their disciplined, respectable, and frugal lives in the services of king and state. Deeper intellectuality had embodied itself among them on one occasion, in the person of a preacher; more swiftly flowing and sensual blood had entered the... [continues]
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