What Lead To The Passing Of Gustav Von Aschenbach; His Psychological Expiry, Or His Physical Demise?

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Alex Maldonado Year 12 Mr. Skeoch Death In Venice Essay 1211 Words Due 10/10/08 4 Pages What lead to the passing of Gustav von Aschenbach; his psychological expiry, or his physical demise? The novella, Death In Venice, is about the psychological death of the protagonist Gustav von Aschenbach. Aschenbach's death was a psychological one. He ultimately died from cholera, which was used only to clarify the fact that his life had come to an end and he could not control what was going to happen to him in his near future. His psychological decay commenced at the beginning of the novella when he first made contact with the snub nosed man by the grave stone yard in his home town. This man symbolizes the dead and rotting corpse. The wrinkly face and hands offer clues to what Aschenbach will turn into by the end of this novella. This first encounter foreshadows Aschenbach’s future relationships with the other characters in the book as well. He always keeps a distance from the people he meets, keeping close to them but allowing enough room for them not to notice he is watching in them. Also Aschenbach begins to hallucinate, of “tropical marshland beneath a wreaking sky streaming monstrous rank”, early in the novel which suggests some sort of mental illness. He dreams of exotic places which inspires his trip to Venice. So far in the novel it seems as though Aschenbach has been hanging from a thread during the course of his life, and after so much pressure and forcing himself to work and the suppression of his feelings the thread has finally snapped. All his life he felt the need to live up to high expectations thus losing his childhood which he spent secluded from other children. This was mostly because he was born very weak to disease. Another factor that influenced his early life was that he did all of his schooling from home. It

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