The Magic Mountain : A New Type Of Art Movement

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In the decades preceding World War I, a new type of art movement began: modernism. Ranging from the likes of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Friedrich Nietzsche and many others, Thomas Mann emerges as a powerful author in the movement of modernism. Mann writes The Magic Mountain describing the journey of Hans Castorp in the Swiss Alps where he stays at a sanatorium treating those with tuberculosis. He writes this novel as not as the story of Hans Castorp, but rather focusing on Hans Castorp’s journey, as Thomas Mann implies in the foreword: “The story of Hans Castorp that we intend to tell here ̶ not for his sake…, but for the sake of the story itself, which seems to us to be very much worth telling.” (ix)Thomas Mann writes The Magic Mountain…show more content…
Modernism focuses, much like realism, on the criticism of the middle class and their society and morality. The difference is that modernism was not associated with being concerned with social issues, as much as realism was. These modernists were often driven not by specifics, but rather concerned with aesthetics, or beauty. More specifically, German author Thomas Mann wrote Buddenbrooks, in 1901, and The Magic Mountain, in 1924. Both of these works analyzed the German middle-class’ experience alongside their intellectual heritage (Kagan, Ozment, and Turner 867). With a understanding of the concept of modernism, it can be applied to the ideals found in Thomas Mann’s book, The Magic Mountain. Throughout the book, The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann describes the journey of one Hans Castorp who goes to a sanatorium in the high Swiss Alps and develops tuberculosis and is encouraged to stay to treat the disease, which he decides to stay. There are two types of sickness in the world, in the past and in present day; there is bodily sickness as well as sickness in the spirit, according to Philip Brantingham, author of “Taking the cure: A stay at Thomas Mann’s “the Magic Mountain”.” Hans Castorp suffers from both of these types of sickness, but the end decision he makes provides and overall view at his experience. As stated above, Hans Castorp decides to stay at the sanatorium for what ends up becoming seven years when he
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