Death in Venice Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Death in Venice.
This section contains 573 words
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Art and Society

The idea of the artist as a hero with a noble calling to pursue beauty has a rich tradition in western literature, especially romantic and modern literature. Mann describes von Aschenbach as an artist who has sacrificed his emotional life and distanced himself from the sensuous world to create beauty with his stories. In the second chapter, the narrator says of von Aschenbach, "Even as a young man . . . he had considered perfectionism the basis and most intimate essence of his talent, and for its sake he had cooled his emotions." As a writer consumed by ideas and a moral obligation to pursue beauty at all costs, even his physical health, von Aschenbach likens himself to heroic figures such as Socrates and St. Sebastian, an early Christian martyr, both of whom lived their lives in pursuit of a higher good. A critic in Mann's novella claims that...

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This section contains 573 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Death in Venice Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Death in Venice from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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