A Study of the Protagonists of Thomas Mann's Early Stories in Their Relations with Life

Publication Year



English, literature, Thomas Mann, life, writing, character development


Comparative Literature | English Language and Literature


There are those for whom life is destined to be difficult. These people have traits which conflict, often with each other, always with the world; yet these same traits are basic to their individuality. Serious problems necessarily result. Simple acquiescence in any sort of pattern of normalcy is inherently impossible for these figures; their conflicts become the most basically necessary, and thus perhaps the most interesting, of any faced by men or written about by artists. Thomas Mann is extremely sensitive to this sort of conflict; it is in almost every case the underlying factor in his early stories. Inherent difficulty in facing life is the thread which gives continuity to almost all the protagonists of the period and an impression of essential unity to the period itself. In some characters Mann faces honestly the conflict situation; then for others he develops a creative solution. This exploration gives the period a significance in idea comparable to the great importance of its artistic method.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

English: Literature and Writing

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