Reflective Statement -- Death in Venice - Google Docs.pdf - , eathinVenice. betweenThomasMann,Germany,andItaly,Iwasabletole

Reflective Statement -- Death in Venice - Google Docs.pdf -...

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Unformatted text preview: Reflective Statement ­­ Death in Venice Through the interactive oral presentations that were presented a few days ago, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the text D eath in Venice . During the presentation on the topic of the connections between Thomas Mann, Germany, and Italy, I was able to learn important details about Thomas Mann’s biographical life and the stereotypes of Germany and Italy that enhanced my overall understanding of the text. The details of Thomas Mann’s life and how he shared most of Aschenbach’s major struggles drew the most noteworthy connection, which was Death in Venice being an autobiographical work of Mann. How Mann was able to devise such an atypical situation of an old man being deeply attracted to a young boy suddenly made sense ­­ it was Mann himself who was telling his own story through the thoughts of Aschenbach. This also forged a certain respect that I have for Mann; to be able to openly express one’s feelings in such an extreme manner in a most socially unacceptable situation indicates great courage and self­understanding. To myself, Aschenbach came to life as a placeholder for Mann and the carrier of his thoughts. The description of German and Italian stereotypes and their connection to the text also helped to create the sense that Germany and Italy were polar to each other in terms of culture and nature. Germany, being strict and traditional reinforces the tone of the exposition of Death in Venice, where Aschenbach internally loathes the cold and rigid affairs of his work. The reversal of environment when Aschenbach arrives in Venice is also supported by Italian stereotypes. From the novella, I was able to catch the suggestions that Venice is a place of passion and inspiration ­­ the Apollonian element of the creation of art. However, I learned that Italy is also a place of renewal, youthfulness, and regaining of health. By learning this, it became clear to me that Aschenbach’s ulterior motive by travelling to Venice is to regain health and instill some youthfulness back into himself, since he senses that he is dying within. The appearance of the young­old man and Aschenbach’s transformation into the young­old man is also a significant reflection of this. Aschenbach was internally corrupted by the youthful passion of Venice such that his physical appearance no longer reflects the youthfulness inside. I found this connection very intriguing and very fascinating to know. ...
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