Tristan (by Thomas Mann) Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 107 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Essay Topic 1

The novella takes its title from the legend of Tristan and Isolde, although the legend is never mentioned by name in the text. How does the legend relate to the novella? Does it work as a metaphor? Why or why not? Why might Mann have chosen a title that stems from this legend?

Essay Topic 2

The concepts of Art and the Artist are key in Tristan.How does Mann view art? How does he view and characterize artists? Does he see the artistic impulse as a strength or a weakness? Why?

Essay Topic 3

As with any author, Mann’s writing drew on his own life and experiences. What experiences did Mann live through that may have had an influence on his writing?

Essay Topic 4

Examine Mr. Spinell’s character and how he embodies the major themes in Tristan. How does Mann characterize Mr. Spinell? What commentary...

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