Death and its Significance

             Death, a very dominant theme in literature, but what significance do references to death provide in a story. Why is death used in so many of the pieces of literature we read? The Answer; references to death play a very important part in a story, they can help advance the plot, they provide an atmosphere they contribute to the setting of the story, and many times they help readers predict what is going to happen in the story. Foreshadowing, something that is almost always related to a reference to death. Foreshadowing can be a very useful device as we will see in this essay. The two stories that will be analyzed in this essay are; Death in Venice and Mario and the Magician both of which are written by Thomas Mann. This essay will attempt to analyze how death is presented in both these stories, what role does death play, and how death plays a major role in the development of the story.
             Death in Venice, a novella written by Mann in 1912; a story which was largely inspired by Mann’s own personal experiences, the story is basically about a writer named Aschenbach who has always held his passions in check, never allowing them expression either in his life or in his work. He was what many will call “repressed”. The first thing to note when the story starts is the first reference to a dark dull setting “When our continent lay under such a threatening weather for whole months” . This can be interpreted to a sort of foreshadowing of what’s to come, the darkness the bad experiences that Aschenbach will have to go through. As the story goes on Aschenbach is tired of writing, and goes out for a walk “A storm begins to brew…He passes through empty streets past the stonemason’s yards, where the headstones for sale constitute a sort of graveyard, and stops to read the gilt lettering on a Byzantine mortuary chapel referring to the afterlife” . Aschenbach is walking home, but the scene the narrator tells shows something more. It se...

More Essays:

APA     MLA     Chicago
Death and its Significance. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 06:38, December 09, 2016, from