Death in Venice Part Four: The Frustrated Departure

Thomas Mann

Part Four: The Frustrated Departure

Study Questions
1. How does Aschenbach first encounter Tadzio?

2. How does the treatment of Tadzio differ from that of his sisters?

3. What sort of manners are followed in Tadzio’s family?

4. What does Tadzio show that seems, in the eyes of Aschenbach, to humanize him?

5. How does Aschenbach learn Tadzio’s name?

6. What is the relationship between Tadzio and Jaschiu?

7. Why does Aschenbach attempt to leave Venice?

8. Why does Aschenbach return to his hotel for a longer stay?

9. Why was it so difficult for Aschenbach to take leave of Venice?

10. How does Aschenbach interpret Tadzio’s gesture on his return?

Answers
1. Aschenbach first encounters Tadzio when they are seated in the lobby of a hotel.

2. Tadzio is treated with far more gentleness than are his sisters. He does not have to cut his hair and is allowed to sleep late.

3. The manners in Tadzio’s family are very formal. The children, for example, line up in order of age to enter the dining room.

4. Tadzio shows a hatred for the Russian family. This intolerance makes him sympathetic in the view of Aschenbach.

5. Aschenbach learns Tadzio’s name by listening to the children.

6. Tadzio and Jaschiu are close companions, though they are not equals. Jaschiu is subordinate to Tadzio. At one point Jaschiu gives Tadzio a kiss.

7. Aschenbach attempts to leave Venice because the air is making him ill.

8. Aschenbach returns to the hotel because his luggage was sent in the wrong direction. He then stays in order to see Tadzio.

9. Though he did not, at first, admit it to himself, Aschenbach found it difficult to leave because he would not be able to see Tadzio any more.

10. Aschenbach interprets Tadzio’s gesture as a welcome back.