Death in Venice Part Six: Conclusion—The Plague

Thomas Mann

Part Six: Conclusion—The Plague

Study Questions
1. Why do the authorities say they are disinfecting the beach?

2. Where does Aschenbach first read of the plague?

3. What does Aschenbach do when the Polish family goes for a ride in a gondola?

4. What does Aschenbach smell when the mountebank passes?

5. What do the travelling players sing about as a farewell?

6. Of what does Aschenbach dream?

7. After the dream, what is different about the way Aschenbach imagines Socrates and Phaedrus?

8. What does the hotel barber do for Aschenbach?

9. What does Aschenbach think he sees just before he dies?

10. How does the world receive the news of Aschenbach’s death?

Answers
1. They say it is just a routine precaution.

2. Aschenbach reads of the plague in the German newspapers.

3. Aschenbach gets in another gondola and bribes the gondolier to follow Tadzio.

4. Aschenbach smells a sickly odor, presumably from the plague.

5. The farewell song of the travelling players consists only of laughter.

6. Aschenbach dreams of an orgiastic celebration. At first he is afraid, but then he takes part.

7. After the dream, Aschenbach imagines Socrates as mocking traditional ideals.

8. The hotel barber dyes Aschenbach’s hair and puts make-up on Aschenbach’s face.

9. Aschenbach thinks he sees Tadzio beckoning to him.

10. The world receives news of Aschenbach’s death with shock and respectful homage.