Symbolism in Thomas Mann's Story \

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  • Topic: Death in Venice, Thomas Mann, Venice
  • Pages : 4 (1621 words )
  • Download(s) : 133
  • Published : May 24, 2005
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One of the most important figures of early twentieth-century literature was Thomas Mann. Thomas Mann is famous for his economical writing. He does not waste a word: every detail he includes is significant, and every detail serves his strategy of suggesting, hinting, rather than directly telling. Without a doubt, Death in Venice by Thomas Mann is one of the greatest masterpieces of short fiction ever written. It tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging German writer who follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritual fulfillment. When he arrives in Venice, Aschenbach becomes obsessed with a fourteen year old boy named Tadzio. Aschenbach's mind becomes increasingly unbalanced. Despite an outbreak of cholera, he refuses to leave Venice in order to indulge his desires. As a result, his passion leads him to his erotic doom. Among a number of themes of the novella, the most prominent one is obviously death, which is both - physical and moral. The theme is revealed and effectively explored during the story through the use of imagery and symbolism. Indeed, Death in Venice is a nest of connected keys and symbols in which scarcely a word is wasted. Even though some of Mann's symbols are straightforward, much is more obscure. The reader is forced to dig deep in order to determine the true meaning of any given passage. It is important for the reader to be aware of Mann's endeavors early in the novel, or the point may be altogether missed. As Death in Venice abounds in symbols, it is impossible to describe and interpret all of them just in three pages. For this reason, the particular essay analyzes several symbols that are associated with the notion of death. At the beginning of Death in Venice, we find the fifty-three year old writer unable to write a perfectly balanced work. He decides to take a walk by the north cemetery in an unnamed town that can be identified as Munich. A storm begins to brew, and the writer...
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