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Gustav Sonata Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Gustav Sonata.
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Neutrality

The central theme of the novel is neutrality and whether or not it is possible to remain truly neutral to the outside world, ultimately reaching the conclusion that choosing neutrality is choosing a particular side and, therefore, not truly neutral at all.

The theme of neutrality is explored most explicitly through the character of Erich Perle and his difficulty reconciling his government’s attitude of neutrality towards the war in Europe and his own sense of morality regarding the Jewish refugees he encounters as part of his work as the Assistant Chief of Police in Matzlingen. When the government issues an order stating that no more refugees from the war zone will be admitted into the country Erich feels that it is impossible for him to remain neutral on this issue. On the surface it appears as if there is a neutral option available to Erich...

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This section contains 2,348 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Gustav Sonata Study Guide
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