Thomas Mann Writing Styles in The Magic Mountain

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Point of View

The narration is third-person and objective rather than omniscient. The narrator has access to Hans Castorp's interior thoughts, but not those of the other characters, which are presented only as Hans learns about them or sees them. Even though the narrator often summarizes Hans' thoughts and experiences, and may seem omniscient, he only presents facts and thoughts that Hans has learned. However, the narrator often comments on Han's thoughts and reactions in his own ironic voice, putting the reader at an amused, detached distance from the innocent and naïve Hans.

Dialogue is very important, and many pages present only dialogue, whether of Settembrini and Naphta debating, or Hans debating within himself. The key encounter between Hans Castorp and Clavdia Chauchat on Walpurgis Night, for example, is presented almost completely in dialogue, with almost no description. The same is true of many of the debates between...

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This section contains 1,060 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Magic Mountain Study Guide
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