Flashback ! We go back to a time when Hans was 7 years old. This part could only be situated immediately after the “Arrival chapters”, otherwise it would disturb the flow of the narrative with its increasing pace.
It is not an essential chapter. Together with some biographical info, Mann only wants to make sure that we know where Hans morbid ( decadent ) fascination with death might come from…
- People were curious about which party young Castorp would one day embrace. Democrat ? Conservative ? Radical ?
A hint to the upcoming political and philosophical discussions.
- HC an unwritten page…
- tradition of the old Castorp family to make past present and the present past…
- Time expressed as a string of forefathers
- Everlasting sameness
- early death of both Hans parents swiftly followed by that of his grandfather
- see the religious attitude when Hans sees his deceased father:
“…his grandfather had now received solemn dispensation of his interim stage and had finally returned to the form appropriate to him…
- Hans mind and senses affected by death…
- There was something religious, gripping and beautiful about death…
- Flowers to mask the smell of the corpse and a fly on the decomposing body.
( nothing )
( nothing )
- Old Fiete wearing two earrings: Is he an old seadog who has rounded both cape horn and cape of good hope, washed ashore in the
I love this detail. port of Hamburg
- His love of cigars inherited from his granddad
- Seven names of household heads