• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Aschenbach's fall from Grace in 'Death in Venice'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Stephen B. Mangan October 9, 2004 Aschenbach's fall from Grace in 'Death in Venice' Thomas Mann's 'Death in Venice' is on the surface a novella about a well-known, strong disciplined gentleman writer, Gustave von Aschenbach, from Germany during the early 1900's who is approaching middle age, and, is in need of a new motivation of sorts as he feels his productivity as a writer is waning. He decides to take a summer holiday, first to the Adriatic, but it is not satisfactory and believes that a trip to Venice will bring him a renewed vigor and perspective that would bring his work new meaning. Aschenbach soon travels to Venice and takes up residence at the Lido, a highly prestigious resort on the outskirts of the city. It is here that Aschenbach notices a young Polish boy, Tadzio, who is fourteen years old and very handsome. Tadzio is vacationing with his mother and sisters. Throughout the course of his stay, Aschenbach is very enamored with Tadzio's good looks and attempts to sneak anonymous glances of him whenever possible, either at dinner or breakfast, or out on the beach during the day. This crush soon leads to an obsession of Tadzio by Aschenbach. He begins to follow Tadzio everywhere he goes and becomes restless in his pursuit. His obsession is so strong that he does not even realize he has been infected by the cholera that has swept over the city that will eventually destroy him. ...read more.

Middle

He acknowledges to himself that the time that he spends at his summer home with his servants is rather boring and not much different than his existence at his permanent home. It's not really a vacation, but just a change of scenery but the same old day-to-day activities. He first decides on the Adriatic but this is too dreary and soon settles upon Venice. It is in Venice that Aschenbach notices the youthful Tadzio at the resort at dinner. Though Aschenbach never speaks to Tadzio he feels he knows a great deal about the boy, that he is special and compares him to Greek sculpture and Eros, the Greek God of love when he notices him a second time at breakfast. He notices that Tadzio is not dressed uniformly like his sisters and doesn't possess their "uniform expression" (Mann, 25) Aschenbach feels renewed and begins to write at the beach and his physical side takes over. However, he soon stops writing "not wanting to miss the diversions of the scene before him whenever Tadzio passes by" (Sparknotes). This is the beginning of Aschenbach's emotional side overtaking his physical side. "At first, Aschenbach believes he can admire this beauty dispassionately, from a purely intellectual, aesthetic standpoint." (Sparknotes) Aschenbach is in denial that his emotional side is even present. While taking a stroll through the streets of Venice, Aschenbach feels ill and decides that he must leave Venice and go where the air is better. ...read more.

Conclusion

Aschenbach never grew up emotionally. His passions were hiding deep within his emotional soul. They began to surface when he first decided that he needed a holiday. His dealings with Tadzio have brought out his emotions via a knife cutting into his soul and releasing them. It wasn't one specific event as it is with some people with similar circumstances. "As seen in Aschenbach, who begins by rejecting the passionate side of himself in favor discipline and intellect and ends by embracing the passionate, primitive self, totally disregarding moral restraining and discipline." (Zltonick-Woldenberg) His feelings were slowly released over the period of the summer holiday, such that he doesn't notice them and is thus unable to control or acknowledge them. His defense mechanisms, based purely on working harder and harder to resolve the issue in his mind kick in and he gets into a loop of sorts of which he is unable to get himself out of. His thoughts and longings have led him to obsessions where he feels that he can work himself out of but in doing so, ignores everything else around him, most importantly the cholera that takes his life without even his noticing. He has not lived a balanced existence and thus lives dangerously on both sides of the scale. Perhaps, if Aschenbach had close friends or family to support him, he would have received help in noticing what was happening to him and possibly not have suffered such dire consequences. His need to be alone and achieve autonomy through only his work is his true downfall. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Merchant of Venice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Merchant of Venice essays

  1. "Murmuring Judges" by David Hare

    David Hare has used these characters to show the sympathetic, compassionate side of the law. "Sandra" who is a police officer is having a relationship with "Barry" who is "Gerard's" arresting officer. She strongly suspects that something underhand Access English Studies Unit 4 b Prose-Modern Play Emma Marshall has taken place during the arrest and voices her opinions to him.

  2. Observations on the character: Okonkwo, Unoka, Ekwefi - from 'Things fall apart'.

    He made his own son viewed him as a failure and stove to be a different from him as possible. Unoka died in debt and humiliation, the memory of him gives Okonkwo a terrible fear of failure. Ekwefi, Okonkwo's second wife, live under Okonkwo's fierceness.

  1. Captain Gray's journal

    The 29th Division are waiting for us and I fail to see the point of this codswallop about the wire being cut, when it isn't!?!

  2. Christianity gains ground in Things Fall Apart

    Furthermore, the Christians are bold and persevering. When in Mbanta, they are ready to stay in the market-place for five days, going to the village daily to preach. At last, they are received by the Mbanta elders. When they are given the Evil Forest to build their church, they willingly accept it.

  1. How does Faulks present death throughout the novel?

    feel sympathy for the soldier emotions as he is screaming to be home, this shows how horrific and painful was the shrill that did hit him. The fact that he was innocent as he did not ask any of this to happen makes the reader more emotionally involved and more compassionate towards the soldier.

  2. In her essay "Flight," Doris Lessing illustrates the story of an old man who ...

    Her understated and almost imperceptible control of the home and the situation contrasts sharply with the tumultuous and ?off-the-rails? emotions of her father. Bitterly crying at the inevitability of the forthcoming marriage and his own loss, he dries his wet wrinkled face with his handkerchief.

  1. Stephen Cranes Philosophy in his novel "The Blue Hotel"

    After all, he tries to comfort the Swede many times. But is it true? When his son argues with the Swede about cheating, he acts without judgment, encourages and even hosts the fight that finally drives the Swede away from the hotel to the fatal saloon.

  2. The Death of Napoleon by Simon Leys, foresees the aftermath of Napoleon life if ...

    He is making an earnest attempt at setting things right however he is too late. He realizes his wrongdoings and emotions are gone through mockery and dark humor to soft and sympathetic. This could quite lead us to feel guilt of laughing at him and now feeling sympathetic for him.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work