Der Roman ist in elf Teile gegliedert, die wiederum in Kapitel unterteilt sind. Seine Mitarbeit in der Firma bleibt ein kurzes Intermezzo. Unter den Pastoren, die im Haus ein- und ausgehen, ist auch Sievert Tiburtius, der im Dezember Clara heiratet und mit ihr nach Riga zieht. Die beabsichtigte Hochzeit wird von der Konsulin strengstens untersagt. Er sieht die Firma in Gefahr.
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The family consists of patriarch Johann Jr. They have several servants , most notably Ida Jungmann, whose job is to care for the children. During the evening, a letter arrives from Gotthold, estranged son of the elder Johann and half-brother of the younger. As the older children grow up, their personalities begin to show. Diligent and industrious Thomas seems likely to inherit the business some day. By contrast, Christian is more interested in entertainment and leisure.
Herman takes it in stride, but Tony bears a grudge against him for the rest of her life. The elder Johann and Antoinette die, and the younger Johann takes over the business, and gives Gotthold his fair share of the inheritance. Thomas goes to Amsterdam to study, while Tony goes to boarding school. After finishing school, Tony remains lifelong friends with her former teacher, Theresa "Sesame" Weichbrodt.
She produces a daughter, Erika. Johann refuses, and takes Tony and Erika home with him instead. At the same time, Thomas comes home, and Johann puts him to work at the business.
Johann is able to calm an angry mob with a speech, defusing tensions during the unrest in He and Elizabeth become increasingly religious in their twilight years. Johann dies in , and Thomas takes over the business.
Christian comes home and initially goes to work for his brother, but he has neither the interest nor the aptitude for commerce. He complains of bizarre illnesses and gains a reputation as a fool , a drunk , a womanizer , and a teller of tall tales. Klara marries Sievert Tiburtius, a pastor from Riga , but she dies of tuberculosis without producing any children.
Tony marries her second husband, Alois Permaneder, a provincial but honest hops merchant from Munich. However, once he has her dowry in hand, he invests the money and retires, intending to live off his interest and dividends , while spending his days in his local bar.
Tony is unhappy in Munich, where her family name impresses no one, where her favorite seafoods are unavailable at any price in the days before refrigeration , where even the dialect is noticeably different from her own. She delivers another baby, but it dies on the same day it is born , leaving her heartbroken.
Tony later leaves Permaneder after she discovers him drunkenly trying to rape the maid. Somewhat surprisingly, Permaneder writes her a letter apologizing for his behavior, agreeing not to challenge the divorce, and returning the dowry. In the early s, Thomas becomes a father and a senator. He builds an ostentatious mansion and soon regrets it, as maintaining the new house proves to be a considerable drain on his time and money. The old house, now too big for the number of people living in it, falls into disrepair.
Thomas suffers many setbacks and losses in his business. His hard work keeps the business afloat, but it is clearly taking its toll on him.
Erika, now grown up, marries Hugo Weinschenk, a manager at a fire insurance company, and delivers a daughter, Elizabeth.
Weinschenk is arrested for insurance fraud and is sent to prison. He is withdrawn, melancholic, easily upset, and frequently bullied by other children.
Johann does poorly in school, but he discovers an aptitude for music, clearly inherited from his mother. This helps him bond with his uncle Christian, but Thomas is disappointed by his son. In , the elder Elizabeth dies of pneumonia. Johann loves the peace and solitude of the resort, but returns home no stronger than before. Weinschenk is released from prison, a disgraced and broken man. He soon abandons his wife and daughter and leaves Germany, never to return. Thomas, becoming increasingly depressed and exhausted by the demands of keeping up his faltering business, devotes ever more time and attention to his appearance, and begins to suspect his wife may be cheating on him.
In , he collapses and dies after a visit to his dentist. His complete despair and lack of confidence in his son and sole heir are obvious in his will , in which he directed that his business be liquidated. All the assets, including the mansion, are sold at distress prices, and faithful servant Ida is dismissed. Johann still hates school, and he passes his classes only by cheating.
His health and constitution are still weak, and it is hinted that he might be gay. Except for his friend Count Kai, he is held in contempt by everyone outside his immediate family, even his pastor. In , he takes ill with typhoid fever and soon dies.
His mother, Gerda, returns home to Amsterdam, leaving an embittered Tony, her daughter Erika, and granddaughter Elizabeth, as the only remnants of the once proud Buddenbrook family, with only the elderly and increasingly infirm Theresa Weichbrodt to offer any friendship or moral support.
Facing destitution , they cling to their wavering belief that they may be reunited with their family in the afterlife.
Derived from his admiration for the operas of Richard Wagner , in the case of Buddenbrooks an example can be found in the description of the color — blue and yellow, respectively — of the skin and the teeth of the characters. Each such description alludes to different states of health, personality and even the destiny of the characters.
Rotting teeth are also a symbol of decay and decadence because it implies indulging in too many cavity-causing foods. It should not be considered a coincidence that Mann shared the same first name with one of them. Wagner himself was of bourgeois descent and decided to dedicate himself to art. In this sense both Buddenbrooks reflect a conflict lived by the author: departure from a conventional bourgeois life to pursue an artistic one, although without rejecting bourgeois ethics. Music also plays a major role: Hanno Buddenbrook, like his mother, tends to be an artist and musician, and not a person of commerce like his father.
Literary significance and criticism[ edit ] Thomas Mann did not intend to write an epic against contemporary aristocratic society and its conventions. On the contrary, Mann often sympathizes with their Protestant ethics. Mann criticizes with irony and detachment. The same happened with Religion and the Rise of Capitalism by R.
Before writing the novel, Mann conducted extensive research in order to depict with immaculate detail the conditions of the times and even the mundane aspects of the lives of his characters. The author carried out financial analysis to present the economic information depicted in the book accurately.
Some characters in the book speak in the Low German of northern Germany. In the conversations appearing in the early parts of the book, many of the characters switch back and forth between German and French, and are seen to be effectively bilingual. All occurrences in the lives of the characters are seen by the narrator and the family members in relation to the family trade business: the sense of duty and destiny accompanying it as well as the economic consequences that events bring.
Through births, marriages, and deaths, the business becomes almost a fetish or a religion, especially for some characters, notably Thomas and his sister Tony.
Blind, thoughtless, pitiful eruption of the urging will! What is usually considered to be the self is really the same in all people and animals, at all times and everywhere. Irvin D. Yalom had a character in his novel describe it as follows As a result he was comforted by the unity of all life and the idea that after death he would return to the life force whence he came and hence retain his connectedness with all living things.
There could be no consolation if conscious personal identity is lost at death. Buddenbrooks — 1. Teil was released in , and Buddenbrooks — 2. Teil was released in
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Johann Buddenbrook d. Auch die Kinder beider Familien rivalisieren bereits miteinander. Was habe ich ihm getan -? Tony ist deprimiert, verliert ihre gewohnte Frische und magert ab.