I chose sexuality as my theme. I found it to be an important aspect in most of the stories we have read in this class. I thought a good example of sexuality was in the story Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse. I talks about sex and his feelings towards to opposite sex throughout the entire story. Even in the very beginning it talks about how he had some girl over to his place once or twice. It also talks about how, as a boy, he liked all these girls but never told them, and later in the story he meets a girl that he likes, and sets him up with another girl, or prostitute. I think during this time period in Germany, it was more okay for ladies to be more upfront about their sexuality. More women then were standing up to traditional views and even started dressing differently. This is shown in the story Steppenwolf when Hermine dresses up as a boy near the end of the story. There were also prostitutes. The girl Hermine sets Harry up with is a prostitute and was said to have “many men” or “many lovers” in the story (Hesse). This may have been more of an underground trend that was frowned upon, but was definitely present and acknowledged. It was even said of Hermine that she likes to play men, which also contributes to the idea that women during this time period were starting a new trend different from traditions and times in the past (Hesse).
In early Germany, ladies were not so upfront about their sexuality and were happy playing the part of a “traditional woman” in early Germany. I think examples of this were shown in the story Effi Briest. When the girls were young, they would talk about getting married young, and who would be the first to get married. Effi’s parents were pretty much set on having her marry Geert and it wasn’t really her choice. But she was happy to get married and did as her parents said. This contrasts with the girls in Steppenwolf, because I’m pretty sure most of them were not married. In Effi Briest,... [continues]
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