English Comp. II
26 April 2012
In “The Baron of Grogzwig” Charles Dickens uses plot and characterization to explore the emotional and intellectual growth of Baron Von Koëldwethout. The baron spends his time, surrounded by his men and living the life of a bachelor. He is a spontaneous man and suddenly, at dinner he tells his men he wants to get a wife. The baron’s courtship of his lady is quick and soon she is his baroness. The baroness demands that he gets rid of his hunting train and change the way he acts. The baron is unhappy with his life after years pass while his family ever growing larger and his wife begins to curtail all his pleasures. He lets his depressions stress him until he is at the point of suicide. A ghostly figure appears to Koëldwethout and calls himself, “the Genius of Despair and Suicide.” Their conversation is filled with back and forth banter about life and death, and people’s reasoning behind killing oneself. In the end, Koëldwethout understands that life is not something that you quit when things are not going your way. He learns that not all desires are fulfilled in an instant.
The baron is a straightforward man and is used to acting on impulse. When he is bored with killing bears every day he takes to kicking members of his hunting party. “This was a merry life for the Baron of Grogzwig and a merrier still for the baron's retainers, who drank Rhine wine every night till they fell under the table, had the bottles on the floor and called for pipes. Never were such jolly, roystering, rollicking, merry-making blades, as the jovial crew of Grogzwig.”(Dickens) When he decides to marry, he moves forward with his plan the very next day. "The fair daughter of the Baron Von Swillenhausen," said Koëldwethout, condescending to explain. "We will demand her in marriage of her father ere the sun goes down tomorrow. If he refuses our suit we will cut off his nose."(Dickens) When his wife objects to the rowdy...
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