death in venice essay - Fahim 1 Shaden Fahim Franco Zangrilli Lit 2 The story of \u201cDeath in Venice\u201d by Tomas Mann starts with Von Aschenbach who

death in venice essay - Fahim 1 Shaden Fahim Franco...

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Fahim 1Shaden FahimFranco ZangrilliLit 203/16/19The story of “Death in Venice” by Tomas Mann starts with Von Aschenbach who is the protagonist. Von Aschenbach is a fifty something year old writer who is a very austere man and who seems to present himself like a tight fist, he never let himself discover his desires and he always kept his emotions in check. He is someone who is struggling with writer’s block and decides to take a trip to Venice to help him with his block. On this trip, he falls in love with a 14-year-old boy in the hotel, and soon becomes infatuated and obsessed with him. In Mann’s novel, Von Aschenbach describes the first time the boy has smiled to him as “the smile of Narcissus”. Thomas Mann uses Von Aschenbach to explore his obsessions by relying a lot on references from Plato and Greek/Roman mythology. Narcissus who was prophesized by the blind prophet of Thebes, that he would live very long as long as he did not discover himself. He was a beautiful man who carried himself with such ego and entitlement. Narcissus was very self-obsessed and had never come across someone who has made his heart melt. Echo was a nymph who was in love with him yet he scorned her for trying to embrace him. In the end of the myth, Narcissus comes across a lake to drink water, he looks into the lake and falls in love, only to find out that it was his own reflection he was looking at. Narcissus scared to move and to lose the reflection, dies of thirst, falls into the lake, and the flower appears.Going back to the novel, Von Aschenbach describes the boy’s smile to him as “the smile of Narcissus”, a smile that he describes as “charming, without disguise, and intimate”. He is
Fahim 2madly in love with the boy, comparing him to a Greek god, he is almost obsessed with the boy. Just like the in myth of Narcissus, Aschenbach sees himself as both the protagonist (Narcissus) and the person who is in awe of the protagonist, but can never get him. He also portrays the boy

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