Bourgeois ambivalence: a comparative investigation of Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land

Young, Primrose May Deen (2017). Bourgeois ambivalence: a comparative investigation of Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Abstract

The thesis explores important similarities and differences between responses to bourgeois society in Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg (1924) and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922). It examines these texts’ presentations of the shifting morality of bourgeois culture, the prevailing sense of paralysis and fragmentation at the beginning of the twentieth century, and compares the authors’ use of allusions to myth, and their explorations of concepts of time. However, by considering the ambivalent responses to bourgeois society as they are presented within these texts, and a selection of Mann and Eliot’s other creative and critical works, the thesis also highlights significant differences in the authors’ responses to bourgeois society, which are indicative of the broader divergent traditions in which they positioned themselves. Eliot subscribes to a tradition based upon the framework of the Christian faith, and the classical literary canon, with an ‘impersonal’ approach to artistic creation. By contrast, Mann places the German ‘burgher’ at the core of the tradition to which he subscribes, emphasising personality, and favouring a humanistic approach, which values the individual’s capacity for ethical judgement based on reason. This framework demonstrates that the thematic similarities and common allusions in Mann and Eliot’s creative works are underscored by radically different authorial approaches and belief systems.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Supervisor(s):
Supervisor(s)EmailORCID
Martin, NicholasUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ellis 1952-, SteveUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Licence:
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/7250

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