Advisor

Franz Langhammer

Date of Award

1-19-1977

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in German

Department

Foreign Languages

Physical Description

1 online resource, digitized manuscript.

Subjects

Unwiederbringlich (Theodor Fontane), Theodor Fontane 1819-1898, Effi Briest (Theodore Fontane)

DOI

10.15760/etd.2557

Abstract

In this thesis an attempt is made to show the peculiar features of Fontane's narrative style as well as his art of characterization. I have tried to interpret his concept of humaneness in the two novels, Unwiederbringlich and Effi Briest, and to show how the composition of these novels is directed to the portrait of the individual.

Theodor Fontane's unusual distinction lies in his keen observation of the Prussian scene and his craftsmanship as a cosmopolitan storyteller. The principal elements of his works are a sense of historical continuity and an uncommon perception of the speech and gestures by which his characters reveal their particular virtues. In his early writings about his travels abroad and his excursions through the province of Brandenburg, he developed powers of observation and a narrative style which served him well in his major novels. His composition is picturesque. The plots are enlivened with anecdotes and surprising detail; the portraiture is subtle and precise. Fontane's portrayal of human relationships takes into account the impact of coincidences of life. His symbolism, apparent not only to his readers, but also to his characters, is simple but effective.

Fontane seems to favor particularly the individual who is restricted by conventions and whose conflicts derive from these restrictions. His characters, like himself, are caught between the meaningless traditions of former times and the dawn of a new awareness.

Fontane seems to favor particularly the individual who is restricted by conventions and whose conflicts derive from these restrictions. His characters, like himself, are caught between the meaningless traditions of former times and the dawn of a new awareness.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/16174

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