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

A comparison of the environment reflecting the protagonists decline in Thomas Manns Death in Venice and Ibsens Ghosts.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A comparison of the environment reflecting the protagonists' decline in Death in Venice and Ghosts The environment depicted in literature provides the foundation for which character development can progress. It also serves to create reflect their growth as individuals as well as provide knowledge and hints to the journey they are going to take. However, the environment is not just limited to the physical landscape, but also the interactions, which can be seen in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and Ibsens' Ghosts. The environments in these two texts reflect the decline of the protagonist through the weather, the setting, their encounters and the motifs and symbols seen within the texts. In both texts, Ibsen and Mann use the weather to mirror the protagonists' feelings. In the beginning of Death in Venice, the protagonist does not like the hot and humid weather in Venice, yet later on he comes to tolerate and eventually enjoy the weather, suggesting his increasing descent into passion and to his downfall. Later on, he becomes "over stimulated" and "tired" as a "storm seemed to be brewing." This tiredness suggests Aschenbach's increasing weakness of will through the Venice's heat, as he descends further into passion. Furthermore, even though he notices a storm stirring, he does not do anything to avoid it. ...read more.

Middle

From the beginning of the play, a contrast between Mrs Alving's ordered life and menacing world outside can be seen. The interior of the Mrs Alving's home is carefully controlled and artificial, which is her natural environment, compared to the dull and gloomy atmosphere of the world outside. When Mrs Alving speaks of "law and order," she is standing by the window, and she "taps on the window frame," emphasising her wish to break away from duty. Mrs Alving's glances and stares out the window are frequent throughout the play, suggesting the continual desire to be free. After the fire of the Orphanage, the characters run off to look at the fire, leaving the room empty, open to the night and darkness. This implies that her haven is no longer under her control. What was once a haven has now been invaded by something sinister. In Act III, after the revelation of Oswald's illness, Mrs Alving tries to escape from the room that once was her haven. However, in reality, it is a prison, which she realises when Oswald brings her back and locks the door. This room is a symbol of her confinement to societal conventions which she loathed, and now, the consequences are locked with her. ...read more.

Conclusion

This encounter was what ultimately brought about the demise of Mrs Alving, as she could not continue the fa�ade that she had lived with for so many years; it was only with her encounter with Oswald where she began to change her view, "And suddenly I seemed to see my whole life... everything in a new light." These encounters had broken her control. The encounters in both texts reflect the protagonists' changes, especially their deterioration, leading to their eventual decline. Throughout both texts, motifs and symbols appear frequently. They serve to anchor significant events and foreshadow the protagonists' downfall. In Death in Venice, several motifs arise in the novella. The nameless strangers often have red features. Red is often associated with the devil, and thus temptation, emphasising Aschenbach's decline into sensuality and passion. The disinfectant is also a motif in the novella. Aschenbach first notices the smell in the air, and he did not like it. Yet, as the novella progresses, he begins to think it smells "sweet." This suggests the corruption and lust has already begun and will just continue. This disinfectant is also the city's secret, and it parallels with Aschenbach's secret passion, his crime. The constant references to Greek mythology are also a significant motif. There are references to Apollonian and Dionysian philosophical concepts throughout the novella, reflecting the juxtaposition of logic and reason, and passion and wildness. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Free essay

    The use of symbolism to convey protagonists confinement in a Doll's House and Death ...

    In conclusion we can see how the uses of symbolism in both plays are crucial for the fact that they help the authors to illustrate the protagonist confinement. In the first place we can see how both plays deals with social issues; In a Dolls House we can see how

  2. The passage A Gift by Rahila Gupta depicts a memory of a man reflecting ...

    However, the complications soon arrive. A simple dialogue turns into a game, where the man feels happy that he "won that round." It makes the relationship a distant one, one that lacks the passion of true love. They would talk about something but suddenly be "interrupted by the silence that fell around [them]."

  1. The texts The Fiftieth Gate (1997) by Mark Baker, John Menszers website HolocaustSurvivors.org (1999 ...

    arm held next to his name and number on a concentration camp's archival list. The image, when considered in the context of the website as a whole, subtly critiques the clinical objectivity of historical discourse. Baker offers a parallel criticism through his use of the onomatopoeic refrain "tak tak tak"

  2. Death in venice and the plague comparitive essay

    This reliance is played across to the readers as if the people are trapped by these habits. Their life prior to the introduction of plague can almost to deducted to be devoid of meaning.

  1. Throughout both Top Girls and The Beauty Queen of Leenane McDonagh and Churchill present ...

    As both mother daughter relationships become strained, the snide comments and constant attacks become humiliating. In Top Girls, Angie is embarrassed by Joyce whilst speaking to her friend, Kit. Joyce mocks Angie with "Don't know much then do you?" belittling her intelligence, a known issue which caused her to leave school early.

  2. The Tigers Bride by Angela Carter presents an inward journey of a female protagonist, ...

    The heroine does not take the shame she feels towards this request in silence. She addresses the sexual objectification of women and resists them. Rather than being objectified she would rather be a whore, ?I wish I?d rolled in the hay with every lad on my father?s farm to disqualify myself from this humiliating bargain.? (68).

  1. Who is to blame for the death of Dido in Virgil's Aeneid?

    Aeneas, being merely mortal, has to oblige. Finally, the most accountable for the death of Dido, is Dido herself. Though this sentence may appear as a mere cliché, we must look at the bare facts: Dido stabs Dido; therefore Dido is responsible for her own death.

  2. How significant is the role of love in the deaths of both Thomas Manns ...

    ? This getting up so early? he thought ? makes anyone a complete idiot? Gregor had a subconscious viewpoint of how he viewed his work to his family. He was aware of his contributions bringing more harm than good. There was a sense of realization of what he was doing

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