Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man

by Thomas Mann
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Themes

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 182

Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man by Thomas Mann is reminiscent of the stories of Giacomo Casanova, a young man with multiple talents who goes on an adventure across Europe. The adventures of Felix Krull, like Casanova's, usually involve romantic affairs.

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While the narrative doesn't have an overarching theme—besides perhaps the randomness of life events if one adopts a daring and open-minded mentality—the first prominent theme is Felix's fascination with acting. When he sees the work of an actor in a stage play, he decides to become one.

However, Felix ends up using his acting talent for mischievous purposes, such as feigning sickness to skip school. In this section of the book, the reader might be able to predict that Felix will eventually become a kind of everyman, or "great pretender," throughout his life. In a sense, such labels could be true of Felix, but he is more of a schemer.

Later on in the story, Felix concocts various schemes throughout his adventures, such as selling stolen goods or winning the heart of a woman he has become infatuated with.

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