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Death in Venice | Study Guide

Thomas Mann

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Thomas Mann's Death in Venice. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

death-in-venice-thomas-mannNarrator, Chapter 5is head and heart were drunk, and his steps followed the directions dictated by the demon who takes pleasure in trampling human reason.Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, VQRCopyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc.Open HandSignifies Aschenbachs uncritical acceptance of his carnal instinctsTigerEmbodies the danger of Aschenbachs repressed sensualityTight FistRepresents Aschenbachs extremely disciplined approach to lifeSymbolsMain CharactersGustav von AschenbachRepressed, hardworking, rational author; becomes obsessed with Tadzio and begins wearing makeup to attract him; indulges his sensual side, leading tohis deathBeautiful, emotionally distant, 14-year-old Polish boy in Venice; wears a sailor suit while his sisters wear severe clothing; becomes the object of Aschenbachs desireTadzioIn 1911 Mann and his family took a vacation to Venice. At his hotel, Mann noticed a beautiful boy, with whom he secretly became infatuated—an experience that inspired him to write Death in Venice. He based the main character on himself, as well as on psychiatrist Sigmund Freuds theories on the unconscious mind.THOMAS MANN1875–1955AuthorTadzios classical beauty leads Aschenbach to idolize him and express sensuality.Idolizing BeautyAs Aschenbach fixates on Tadzio, he welcomes the deadly epidemic in Venice.Surrender to Passion & DeathAschenbach prides himself on reason but falls for Tadzio in a hedonistic way.Rationalism vs. HedonismAuthor Gustav von Aschenbach takes a trip to Venice for a much needed rest. At the hotel, Aschenbach becomes obsessed with a beautiful boy named Tadzio. His obsession causes long-suppressed desires to emerge and overwhelm him—and his stalking takes a deadly turn.An Obsessionwith Beauty& DeathTHEMESGermanOriginal Language1912Year PublishedThomas MannAuthorDeath in VeniceDramaNovella

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