The author is recreating an era, contextualizándola a particular social class, in addition to outlining characters so that delves into their innermost recesses and windings. The family is brought to glory by the consul Johann Buddenbrooks, and soon becomes exposed the protocol that defines character, starting with the convenient marriages that everyone has a duty to perform, regardless of the feelings that mediate them.
Buddenbrooks family has a party in honor of the new house they bought in the Mengstrasse.La family is one of the most important in Lübeck by which owns the name Johann Buddenbrooks, an import and export of cereals .
The consul grandfather Johann Buddenbrooks is the current owner of the company and is married to Antoinette Duchamps. They have two children: Gothold who was disinherited for marrying a shopkeeper without the consent of his father, Johann who works for the company and is married to Elisabeth Kröger and has four children: Thomas (Tom), Christian, Antonie (Tony) and Klara. Also living in the house Ida Jungman, from Prussia and makes aya and housekeeper, and Klothilde (Tilda) who is disinherited daughter of a part of the family and has been adopted by the Mengstraße Buddenbrooks. The family summers in Travemünde, a hotel at the seaside she attends the elite of society. Time passes and the old Johann Buddenbrooks, founder, dies thus taking the reins of the company consulate and his son, the consul Johann Buddenbrooks. At about the same time Tom goes to work for his father with enthusiasm and dynamism while Christian pasmantes emigrated to South America in search of work. After a few years in which the name has remained Johann Buddenbrooks without gain or loss of any kind, also the old consul dies Buddenbrooks, Duchamps birth. Here we begin to twist things up a bit, since the people are restless and afraid of revolution, but so far nothing happens. Meanwhile, a certain Bendix grünlich presented in Buddenbrooks house to talk business, but a few days after he left, the consul received a letter in which Mr. grünlich asked the hand of his daughter Antonie, who has and 19 years. This creates a strong discussion between the consuls, who are in favor of marriage, and Tony, no. To think that Tony can be a few days to Travemünde, where he meets a young man who falls in love, Morten. But this love is impossible, since a few days after B.Grünlich appears indignant and talk to the father telling Morten is engaged to Tony and his son is trying to conquer, so the father indignantly sends for his son and immediately sent back to college. Tony, desperate insistence of her suitor access to marriage and goes to live in Hamburg with her husband. A while later Tony has a daughter, Erika grünlich.
Meanwhile Tom and Christian continue with his life, the first and second Lübeck in Valparaiso, where he leads a quiet life and attend the theater and the opera regularly. Start to notice some problems swallowing and a slight "torment" in the left leg. The revolution broke so many cities like Berlin are rioting. In Lübeck, the people break some windows and besieges the town hall, which houses the consul and his father-in session of the City Council. With the growing nervousness of nobles and bourgeois Council resolution making the consul out to talk to the people to calm, as it is one of the most prized by workers. Indeed, the consul does appease and these go home. But the incident has left a deep mark on his father, Mr. Kröger, too "noble" to be distressed by the mob...