The culture and the society of the German Empire during the period from 1890 to 1914 were dominated by various issues that include inner turmoil that resulted in many social and political issues. Fundamentally, the period 1871 to 1914 emerged as the time when the German government was at the point of rediscovery and unification after multiple wars in the country. During this time, the majority of the Germans were pursuing their identities, recovery of their economy and reconstruction of the society. It was during the era when many people were migrating into and out of German. There was immigration of million people in Germany where the original cultures of the natives were eroded. The collapse of the leadership of Otto Von Bismarck connects with the erotic desire that degraded the dignity of Gustav. The novel Death in Venice and Other Stories by Thomas Mann offers the greater reflection of the ideas and inner turmoil of the author, and his perspective on the problems and turmoil of Germany during the period from 1890 to 1914. The theme of beauty occurs in the three stories that include the Death of Venice, Tristan, and the Blood of the Walsungs and reflect the struggle in the German societies to adapt to the new cultures in the societies.
Beauty refers to the characteristic of somebody or something or place that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction. In the story, Death of Venice, Mann has explicitly offered a representation of the theme of beauty in various ways. His novella is entitled Death in Venice for obvious reasons but is much about the love and the desire for the death. Aschenbach substantially wastes away while becoming highly obsessed with his desire for Tadzio, whom he sees as the owner of the beauty itself. Mann demonstrates the importance of beauty in the novella through its attention on Aschenbachs voyeuristic gaze. In another chapter, the novella offers an illustration of the significant variations and differences that exist between writing about beauty and the desire to experience it. Regarding the culture and society of Germany in the period 1871 to 1914, has been used to provide a reflection of one significant aspect of the life and struggle during this time; the beauty of German unification. While Mann has used this beauty to show a direct desire and feelings between individuals and ultimately benefit from it, beauty in the context of German culture and society reflects the desire to have a unified nation after series of challenges and turmoil that led to the disintegration of the country. Conceivably, the setting of the novel is Germany during the early age of 1912. The dream of the beauty of unification is therefore justifiable because, during the tenure of Otto, there were deaths, poor economy and many foreign cultures in the country. The novel gives the great suffering of Gustav one of the great writers in his time. There was, therefore, a desire to enjoy from the unification, would literary would turn into something beautiful.
In the story Tonio Kroger, Mann offers a greater representation of beauty, as one of the significant and recurring themes. Here, Mann portrays the schoolboy, Toni Kroger as a discoverer of his love and admiration of his classmate Hans Hansen. In the book, Hans is depicted as a handsome in a Nordic manner with a steel-blue eye, straw-colored hair, the broad shoulders and the narrow hips among other features. We can highly relate this theme to the context of culture and society of Germany during 1871 and 1914. Specifically, it reflects the desire to have and achieve a life that supports the development and prosperity of the humanity. From a literary perspective, we can describe this situation as the desire for a unified nation and consequently enjoy its beauty. It is important to mention that the Germans dreamed of a United Germany, where its people underwent infusion with patriotism, its government controlled by the decisive leaders, as well as its economy at the technological forefront of the world. There would be a new military at the precursor of the newly established nation. Notably, the process of unification of Germany began with turmoil whereby numerous revolutions cleared through the Western Europe. In reality, various movements in Prussia, Bavaria, Baden, and Saxony all yearned for the change and political transformation, which literacy can be described as the beauty of Germany unification. As observed, various nationalists movements grew through the mid-1880s and were significantly helped, political pamphleteers and populist journalists. Finally, the story The Blood of the Walsungs, the theme of beauty is not directly depicted, but a closer look reveals that beauty causes the emergence of the recurring theme of incest. Similarly, we can relate all these situations that lead to this action to the desire to have a better environment or nation because of the benefits attached to it.
In conclusion, the theme of beauty occurs in the three stories that include the Death of Venice, Tristan, and the Blood of the Walsungs and reflect the struggle in the German societies to adapt to the new cultures in the societies. From another point of view, it reflects the desire to have something because of the benefits or beauty attached to it. As observed, the majority of Germans were pursuing their identities, recovery of their economy and reconstruction of the society after the turmoil and the challenges they faced in the past periods. The theme of beauty as depicted in the three stories partly or wholly reflects that specific desire to have a better place, and nation because of the benefits attached to it.
Mann, Thomas. Death in Venice and other stories. Bantam Classics, 1988.
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