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Death in venice and the plague comparitive essay

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"In what way and to what extent do the (stimulants) in the text: "Death in Venice" and "The Plague" reveal who our characters really are?" In both of the books; 'The Plague' and 'Death in Venice' there are situations, created by each book's respective stimulant. These situations allow for a number of responses to be made which allows us as reader to personify and individualise our characters. section 1: In the book 'Death in Venice' the stimulant referred to is in a basic sense 'love'. This stimulant is significantly damaging to our character (Aschenbach) because of the situation it creates around him. Aschenbach is not a man, in essence, changed by his dangerous reaction to 'love', the situation created confirms/ reinforces what is already apparent. The book 'The Plague' has a different stimulant and situation. The stimulant in this text is hard to pin point, while the illness referred to as a 'plague' initialises the storyline in the book the stimulant, for reaction, is contained within the situation itself. This situation is one of entrapment, seclusion and isolation. When forced to give form to the stimulant we have to fall upon the concept that it is 'death', this is because it is akin to death by the means that it is capricious and unknowable. ...read more.


This compared to 'Death in Venice' where prior to coming to Venice Aschenbach has a successful career and life, while it is devoid of multiple emotion, it is not devoid of meaning (while it may be lacking). From here it can be argued that in 'The Plague' their reaction to the introduction of their stimulant does akin itself to Aschenbach's because it allows us to see a reinforcement of what is already apparent to us as readers, the fact that these people are entrapped by their habits. While both Aschenbach and the characters out of 'The Plague' are both slaves to their habits (Aschenbach by way of suppressing latent emotion) before the stimulation makes them not free prior to what is generically trapping them. Therefore in 'The Plague' the reality of their situation is that the stimulant gives some of the people affected the chance to realise this meaningless in their life and make their own choice as to whether to remain with a life devoid of meaning or to attempt to give their life meaning making them free of oppression and bringing them to the status of human. 'Death in Venice' comparison to this is that the stimulant pokes a hole in the dam Aschenbach has created for his emotions within himself. ...read more.


'Death in Venice' explores deeper than 'The Plague' allowing for a greater amount of information about our character to be revealed. Section 3: If the books can be reduced to observations the observation made in 'The Plague' is that those who react in a way which allows them to solidify what they have chosen to fill their life with (Tarrou with the sanitary squad, Panalou with supporting his followers, Rieux by devoting himself to doctoring in all circumstances) hold on to it until the very end (Tarrou and Panalou) have managed themselves to gain human status and will receive a symbol of their freedom (for Rieux and Tarrou this symbol is they swim in the freeing, open ocean). Then the lesson explored is a different reaction will lead to a different result, take Tarrou for an example he chose a noble reaction to fight in the sanitary squad but in the end was taken by plague. 'Death in Venice' has the observation that this reaction to emotion more or less supports the reality that man can't live on the extremes of emotion for extended periods without consequences, therefore balance is required. Aschenbach moves form the brilliantly bland man into Hell with guidance from his despised red headed guides, his extreme changes from bland to overflowing with pent up emotional interference transforming him into a red headed man/guide (demon). ...read more.

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