Death in Venice Essay

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Semansky is an instructor of English literature and composition and writes on literature and culture for several publications. In this essay, Semansky examines the polarities in Mann's story.

In Death in Venice, Mann exploits polarities for characterization, to underscore his themes, and to drive the plot. These polarities are most easily seen in the setting for the story and in his descriptions of Tadzio, von Aschenbach, and the mysterious men who appear in key scenes. Since his story is structured this way, Mann's descriptions accrue meaning and help to develop the novella's central polarity, the relationship between life and art.

In moving von Aschenbach from the rainy, gray streets of Munich, Germany to the sunny, hot climate of Venice, Italy, Mann symbolizes the differences between temperament and sensibility in northern and southern Europe. Von Aschenbach, a German, epitomizes the austere, hardworking, methodical, and rational Teutonic character, priding...

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This section contains 1,319 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Death in Venice Study Guide
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Death in Venice from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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