Madame Bovary Essay

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Great Novel – HUM 1014 – Final Exam Submitted by: Daniel Axelrod Student Number: i6046071 Tutor: Dr. Eliza Steinbock Due: 3pm, Wednesday, March 28, 2012 1.1 In this scene Aschenbach is the focalizer, as events and situations are filtered through his perspective. The reader can identify Aschenbach as the focalizer by the description of “pedagogic severity” that the Polish mother has chosen for her daughters but not her son, Tadzio. These words are symbolic of a descriptive, intelligent writer like Aschenbach. When Mann earlier writes that “almost every artistic individual has a luxurious and treacherous propensity to recognize beauty-creating inequity”, this is ascribed to Aschenbach, and hence we later recognize that viewpoint in the description of Tadzio. Aschenbach as the focalizer in this excerpt has identified the value of physical appearance, both natural and through clothing and has attributed responsibility to the mother. He scrutinizes the inequity in beauty throughout the family, and assigns explanation which, though only his opinion, shades the description. He wasn’t “certain” it was the work of the mother, but the reader will go forward with that assumption. The reader understands the view of Tadzio as a godlike creature as he is seen through the lens of one who believes beauty begets entitlement. His choice of description of Tadzio as exuding “an air of wealth “ is consistent with his views, and his role as focalizer colors the lens of the reader. 1.2 Throughout the novella, Death in Venice, many allusions are many to Greek mythology and Tadzio as a Greek statue. This association highlights Aschenbach’s appreciation of Tadzio as beautiful and pure as the Greek Gods, while it also may reference the homosexual nature of Greek culture. As an artist, Aschenbach first sees Tadzio as an artistic marvel, “with all its perfection of

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