Essay: Story of Death in Venice
At the hotel he is living in, he notices three adolescent girls accompanied by a boy whom he likes at first sight. The boy Tadzio is around fourteen years of age and he describes him as full of artistic beauty. He finds out that he needs the boy as an inspiration to his writing. He sees that the beauty of the boy might be corrupting and might make him lose his dignity. Tadzio has a close friend by the name of Jashu who seems to treat him as an idol. Jashu is the complete opposite of Tadzio for he is strong and more outgoing.
Aschenbach sees Tadzio almost everyday and he keeps on studying him every time they meet either near the hotel or at the beach. He does not know what is making him shy away from talking to the boy but he thinks that it is a certain weakness. He gets the urge of writing about an “important cultural problem” which, he calls a “question of taste” and decides to write in the presence of the boy as an inspiration.
Even though the season is at the peak, guests in the hotel are dwindling by the day. This where the novel becomes interesting as the author uses many metaphors. He talks about all his mother tongue speakers leaving and thus strangers surround him. This is to show that there is looming danger. He becomes completely obsessed with the polish family of Tadzio and follows them everywhere they go. The spreading sickness in Venice symbolizes his passion of the boy, which is spreading in him. The denial by the Italians of the seriousness of the sickness shows Venice as a corrupt and full or lies. The red wine he sips depicts passion whereas the red tie he wears when going to meet Tadzio signifies passion and a feeling of deprivation. At one time, he even sees every body dying and being left with the boy alone. The day when Aschenbach loses his way as he walks around the city depicts what is happening in his life.