Arthur Schnitzler`s Lieutenant Gustl

1275 Words6 Pages
Interpretation of Lieutenant Gustl The short story I have chosen to interpret is “Lieutenant Gustl” by Arthur Schnitzler. The tiny short story is unique because it is the first writing of its time to use what is called “"stream-of-consciousness" technique or better known as a writing done in the from of an"interior monologue"” ( This writing style makes “Lieutenant Gustl” a radical text, because never before has an author use this type of view point. Showing the inner thoughts of a character, as though it was a play by play. The story starts with Gustl watching a concert after the concert is finished he goes to retrieve his cloak from the cloakroom this is where he has a run in with a baker. He is rude to the baker and they proceed to have words, the baker reaches out and takes hold of the hilt of Gustl's sword, insults him and threatens him that if he makes a fuss he will break his sword in two, this is where Gustl's problems start. Now he believes he must kill himself because he has no honor left, that he has shamed his uniform and his country. All of this becomes more entangled because Gustl must fight a duel at dawn. After weighing a number of options to stop any further damage to his reputation, he resolves to commit suicide at the break of dawn. My opinion on this piece of literature is that not only does it show the extent that honor is valued, it also shows the Austrian militarism is convinced that they are a superior force even after the loss during the Austria - Prussian War. We see this act of superiority during the confrontation between the baker and Gustl. With this confrontation we see that the Lieutenant trying to use his social stature to cut line and receive his coat quickly, just so he can chase after a lady; this also implies how soldiers are always after women. Many times in the story does Gustl think

More about Arthur Schnitzler`s Lieutenant Gustl

Open Document