The Magic Mountain - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 1 Summary

As Hans Castorp, an "ordinary young man," climbs the Alps in his narrow-gauge railroad car, he gets dizzy from the thin air and panoramas that spread out before him. He arrives in Davos-Platz, the town below the Berghof Sanatorium, and is greeted by his cousin, Joachim Ziemssen, a vigorous-looking, handsome young man with brown eyes and hair and military bearing. After Hans makes a remark about heading back home, Joachim explains that time is different in the mountains, and that "a man changes a lot of his ideas up here." Joachim himself might have to stay another six months in addition to the five he has already spent. Joachim gives a peculiar vehement shrug when discussing his ongoing symptoms, and shows Hans his "blue Henry," the sputum bottle that most Berghof patients carry. When Joachim explains that during the winter, a neighboring sanatorium brings down bodies of...

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This section contains 351 words
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Buy The Magic Mountain Study Guide
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