The Ambiguity Commune of The Novel “The Magic Mountain”: Social Class Tensions and Inquiry of Self



The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann, Bildungsroman, Social Class Tensions, Inquiry of Self


This article aims to delve into the assertion of social and personal change at the dawn of World War I as reflected in Thomas Mann's novel The Magic Mountain. Hans Castorp, the central character, undergoes a profound journey of experience and growth, which is divided into two stages: before and after his stay at the sanatorium. Initially depicted as a young man engrossed in leisure and superficial pursuits, indifferent to societal changes and personal pleasures, Hans undergoes a significant transformation during his time at the sanatorium. This period sparks deeper intellectual and moral engagement, mirroring T.Mann's vision for the elite class in early 20th-century German society. T.Mann envisioned a shift from apathy and detachment to active involvement with the community and a clearer sense of purpose. Through Hans Castorp, T.Mann explores the potential for personal and societal renewal. This study employs literary textual analysis to examine Hans Castorp's unique characteristics, contradictions, and development, providing insights into the evolution of T.Mann's artistic and philosophical ideas. By analyzing Hans's character, this research highlights T.Mann's critique of his contemporary society and his hope for a more engaged and purposeful elite. It underscores the enduring relevance of The Magic Mountain in exploring themes of personal growth and social transformation.


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Author Biography

Thi My Linh On, Thai Nguyen University of Education

On Thi My Linh is a senior lecturer and researcher in foreign literature at the Thai Nguyen University of Education, Vietnam. She completed her PhD at University of Goettingen in Germany and specializes in world literature and comparative studies between European and Vietnamese literatures. Her first book, Female Characters in Folktales and The Code of Social Values: A Comparative Analysis of German and Vietnamese Tales, was published in 2013, by Verlag.



How to Cite

On, T. M. L. (2024). The Ambiguity Commune of The Novel “The Magic Mountain”: Social Class Tensions and Inquiry of Self. International Journal of Language and Literary Studies, 6(2), 385–395.