The White Horses of Vienna Themes

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Prejudice

One of the main themes in "The White Horses of Vienna" is prejudice; in this case, anti-Semitism. The doctor's wife immediately dislikes Dr. Heine simply because he is Jewish. She views him as alien and impure, someone who will try to poison the townspeople's "clean, Nordic hearts." For one moment she empathizes with him—after his jacket burns and she offers to fix it—but then immediately recognizes her mistake and steps back "as if she had remembered the evil thing that stood between them."

She also subscribes to the stereotype that all Jews are greedy and obsessed with money. Thus when Dr. Heine tells the story of the Lippizaner horse, she attributes his interest to the exorbitant amount of money demanded by the government.

The prejudice held by the doctor's wife is not dissimilar to that of the townspeople. The doctor, the only character presented...

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This section contains 568 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The White Horses of Vienna Study Guide
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Gale
The White Horses of Vienna from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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