Alienation in Post World War America

World War II ended with the surrender of the Japanese Empire in August 1945 leaving a wake of destruction on almost every continent. America was elated, not only had they defeated the Nazis but the Japanese were defeated as well. Yet, America’s place in the world changed as a result of the war in a way very few people would have thought possible. Only an up and coming nation in the last World War, the United States emerged from World War II as the preeminent world power. Amidst the jubilation of victory in both theaters of war, Americans had to come to grips not only with America’s new place in the world, but with what had happened in the war to America. The story of Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye demonstrates the alienation some particular Americans felt in the aftermath of the Second World War.

The beginning of The Catcher in the Rye takes the reader to a boarding school and a character named Holden Caulfield. Holden is arguably one of the most controversial characters in literature, but his story is an important one as it is the story of America after World War II. Holden’s alienation from the rest of the world is central in his story. Throughout most of the story Holden is unable to find the good in the world and insists that everyone he knows or meets is a phony. Holden is a confused young man who is attempting to reconcile the world of his childhood with the world of his young adulthood. At sixteen when the story takes place, Holden was born two years after the stock market crashed and was still too young when the United States entered the Second World War in December, 1941. America, in a lot of ways, has grown up rapidly in the span of Holden’s short life.

The main antagonists in Holden’s life are his roommate Stradlater, his neighbor Ackley, a friend from home Sally, and a pimp and a prostitute he meets while staying in New York. In each case, the antagonists choose to ignore the realities of life by distracting themselves with sex, money or theater. Holden faults each character for being a phony, and considers his dead brother Allie, and his younger sister Phoebe as two of the only real people he has ever met. Holden has been affected by the war and its aftermath and maintains a child-like opinion of the world. In fact, he states, “Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in those big glass cases and just leave them alone.”[1] Holden is alienated from those who are his age, or close because of his own inability to grow up. The various encounters Holden ha leave him more alienated than before. In the case of Sally, Holden contacts her and makes a date only to alienate himself from her by saying:  “You give me a royal pain in the ass…”[2] Holden is completely unable to maintain friendships and continues to draw further and further away from the world.

As Holden is unable to maintain friendships with anyone he meets, he is also a contradiction. At the beginning of the book he states, “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies.”[3] And yet he goes to see a movie at Radio City after his date with Sally. He goes into the bar at his hotel and has a low opinion of everything about it from where they seat him, to the band, to the patrons.[4] Holden constantly belittles people, places and things only to turn around and immerse himself in them. This further alienates him from the world and people around him as they view him as an immature person.[5] His sense of superiority, which results in his alienation, prevents Holden from having any meaningful relationships with anyone aside from his sister and dead brother Allie.

Holden is so disillusioned with the world around him that the only thing he can think to do is protect those who he views as innocent. Holden’s depression is lifted whenever he is around kids. The first instance the reader sees this is in the streets of New York. On his way to find a record store open on Sundays, Holden follows a family of three. The parents are on the sidewalk and immediately gain the disapproval of Holden when he says, “They looked sort of poor, which implies that Holden views the family, at least the parents, as beneath him. The child, however, entertains Holden as he is walking behind the family. The child is in the street singing, “‘If a body catch a body coming through the rye.’” The child and song make Holden, “feel better. It made me feel not so depressed any more.”[6] Holden is not alienated from children the way he is from those closer in age to him because he is able to find a truth in children that doesn’t exist for him in his contemporaries.

Holden’s alienation goes even further, to a desire to remove himself completely from society. At first, Holden pleads with Sally to, “drive up to Massachusetts or Vermont….We’ll stay in these cabin camps and stuff like that till the dough runs out…I could get a job somewhere and we could live somewhere with a brook and all….I could chop wood in the wintertime and all.”[7] His feeling of superiority has alienated him not only from any meaningful relationships but also a desire to quit society almost all together. Later on he says, “Everybody’d think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard and they’d leave me alone. They’d let me put gas and oil in their stupid cars, and they’d pay me a salary and all for it, and I’d build me a little cabin somewhere with the dough I made and live there the rest of my life.”[8] Both times, Holden suggests leaving society to live away from a world he doesn’t fully believe he belongs to.

Holden’s alienation also drives him to attempt to save those he believes he cares most about. In his first desire to leave society, he invites Sally to go with him only to alienate himself from her when she refuses to go with him. Holden also feels a need to assist a roommate at a previous school before he ultimately rejects him. His roommate Dick Slagle is poorer than Holden and doesn’t have as fancy of luggage as he has. As Holden describes the situation: “The thing is, it’s really hard to be roommates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs…”[9] But he goes on to clarify, “You think if they’re intelligent and all, the other person, and have a good sense of humor, that they don’t give a damn whose suitcases are better, but they do.”[10] Holden both creates his own alienation, as in the case of Sally, and is a victim of society’s mandated alienation as was the case with the former roommate. Yet in both cases, Holden attempts to save that person from the phony world as Holden perceives it.

Finally, Holden’s struggle not to care about what others think or do and his desire to save people from their phoniness comes to a head. His sister Phoebe questions whether or not Holden actually likes anything, or if he simply hates everything.[11] As he avoids Phoebe’s questions, she finally prompts him, “All right, name something else. Name something you’d like to be.”[12] And it is here that Holden admits to his desire to protect children and to allow them to maintain their innocence when he tells Phoebe, “I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.”[13] Holden’s alienation from friends closer in age; his hatred of cars and movies all stem from his own desire to return and protect the innocence of childhood.

Yet, it takes Holden until he has nearly broken down psychologically that he realizes he can’t protect everyone from everything. While on the way to  deliver a note to Phoebe at her school, Holden notices writing on the walls outside the school. He desires to protect the innocence of the children from the writing  and dreams of killing the person responsible for writing obscenities on the school’s walls. The second time he finds the obscenities, however, he realizes that it has been craved into the wall.[14] It is at this point that Holden comes to the realization, “If you had a million years to do it in, you couldn’t rub out even half the ‘Fuck you’ signs in the world. It’s impossible.”[15] He finally realizes that things won’t return to how they were when he was a child and life was simpler. Holden recognizes that the world is full of things he hates and wants to protect others from but it is a fool’s mission to try to protect the world from all the bad.

The story of Holden Caulfield could be analogous to the story of the United States after World War II. Like Holden, the United States was alienated from the rest of the world, including our allies. As the most powerful nation in the world, the United States had a responsibility not shared by her allies. Both the Soviet Union and the allies of the United States differed from the U.S.and did not seem to share many beliefs held by America. The United States, as well as Holden, had to come to grips with the reality of the world. Holden was never going to achieve living in a world where people were to be exactly as he wanted to be more ready to believe exactly what he believed. Holden is defined by his alienation from the world and weather he is finally able to reconcile himself with both the world and people around him.

[1] Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye(Boston: Little Brown and Company 1951) page 122.

[2] Ibid. 133

[3] Ibid. 2

[4] “they gave me a lousy table anyways…”, “The band was putrid”, “show-offy-looking guys with their dates.” Ibid. 69

[5] “Same old Caulfield. When are you going to grow up?” Ibid, 144

[6] Ibid. 115

[7] Ibid. 132

[8] Ibid. 199

[9] Ibid. 109

[10] Ibid.

[11] “You don’t like anything that’s happening.” Ibid. 169

[12] Ibid. 172

[13] Ibid. 173

[14] “I saw something that drove me crazy…”, “I went down by a different staircase….” Ibid. 201, 202

[15] Ibid.


The Good of the City and Man

Some in history have attempted to associate the good of the city with the good of man. In ancient times the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle argued this very notion. The city, according to Aristotle, is developed to assist man in reaching the complete human life through the administering of the daily and non daily needs. Thus what is good for the city must in the end is ultimately good for man. Man’s own good is tied to the city because it is through the city that man is able to live the complete human life. Initially what develops is the family, which is unable to provide for the non daily needs of mankind. Thus families enter into compacts with others to form villages, which are unable to provide for the daily needs of man. Finally villages are forced to join to form cities, which are capable of providing both the daily and non daily needs and thus is the only order capable of allowing for the complete human life. The ultimate struggle at the root of Socratic dialogues of both Plato and Xenophon, and the treatises of Aristotle, is the question of whether or not it is better to live of life of activity (politics) or the contemplative life (studies.) The breaking point comes between the politician and the philosopher but it is never truly clear as to which is better. We are only left with the evidence that only in the city are both lives possible. Thus what is good for the city must ultimately be good for man as well.

By the time of the Renaissance philosophers began to look at the question of the city differently. In the 17th and 18th centuries England produced two of the greatest philosophers of the Enlightenment. Thomas Hobbes and John Locke helped to redefine what the city is and man’s relationship to the city. No longer was the city a natural order which helps man attain the complete human life. Rather, now the city is looked upon as an escape from the natural order. For Hobbes this natural order is a state of war because the only law is that of survival. Without a government to maintain order and ensure everyone obeys the laws of nature and maintains their contracts it is left to the individual to secure their rights. If you imagine the world before pan-national organizations like the United Nations or NATO you see this principle at work. Nations exist in a state of nature with each other, and thus in a state of war. There is no governing body able to enforce the laws of nature or maintain the contracts between two nations. Instead the nation becomes the judge, jury and executioner leading to a state of war. John Locke attempts to appear less savage than Hobbes but essentially reaches the same conclusion. Man exists in a state of nature, which is a state of pure freedom. Through reason man is able to know the law of nature. Yet in the state of nature man is responsible for enforcing the law of nature and contracts. Life is truly short and brutish in a state of nature as Locke states. Ultimately this state of nature dissolves into a state of war causing man to seek to escape nature and enter into society. For the moderns nature was something to be conquered and therefore society cannot be viewed as natural as the Greeks viewed it. Society is formed to allow for an impartial judge, and a common law which is enforced by an outside force. Outside of these responsibilities, society is useless to man. Hobbes defines society, as a Leviathan, the modern view of society is not as man’s friend but as his enemy. Unchecked society can do whatever it pleases whether it is for the good of man or not. For Hobbes the magistrate can do whatever he wants to his citizens and they must obey, save of course when one’s life is in danger and you are obligated by the law of nature to defend yourself. Thus for our Founders, students of men like Hobbes and Locke they would have viewed society, our Constitution, as a necessary evil.

Yet in recent times, namely the end of the 19th century, a new understanding has developed which does not exclude the Leviathan nature of society but does not reject society’s ultimate benefit to mankind either. The men who were associated with the German school of thought developed by men like Marx and Nietzsche associated society with being able to advance man. The central concern of Nietzsche is breaking man out of his “all too human” nature and the creation of the ubermensch. Marx viewed society as a tool to help advance man along the historical timeline to a period where no government would be necessary. In America we call the men and women associated with this line of thought the Progressives. It was their belief that in order for man to be moral the government had to instill that morality. For the moderns, morality was already present in the form of the law of nature. In order to understand morality one merely needs reason to understand the law of nature. Yet the German Historicist school of thought rejected a universal morality outside of the confines of the society. This notion was what helped spur on the Prohibitionists who believed it was government’s responsibility to ban alcohol to help better mankind. What developed was a notion similar to the ancient understanding that what is good for the city is good for man. Unfortunately, they were unable to temper the Leviathan and encouraged it to grow to control every aspect of human life. Through this belief came the rise of the Totalitarian states of Communist Russia, Fascist Italy and Spain, and Nazi Germany.

What makes the Progressive era different than the Enlightenment? The Enlightenment believed it was the responsibility of the government in a way to enforce the moral code. Yet the Enlightenment had the law of nature, which dictated right and wrong to society. Society was obligated to create laws in accordance with the law of nature or face being deemed illegitimate—they were able to hide the notion that really morality is whatever the majority willed. With the destruction of God by German philosophers came the destruction of the law of nature (ultimately rooted in the Divine Law.) Now it is whichever faction with the biggest guns makes the morality. The society for the Enlightenment is only charged with the safety of the people. Their complete perfection is left in the hands of the individual person. As Locke argues in his Letter on Toleration, society is permitted to promote religion but not religious beliefs—in other words it is man’s responsibility to find his way to salvation by whatever means he thinks best, but society is able to promote a religious lifestyle and prevent dangerous factions from existing within society. The Progressives were less worried about safety and more with perfection of humanity. The Ancients throw a wrench into the wheel of both movements by encouraging the notion that the city provides safety (non daily needs) and that the city provides for the complete human life. However, that safety doesn’t mean that the city should be ignored as in the case of the Enlightenment where individuals can essentially live and let live. Political activity was central in the Ancient understanding of the city. A man who refused to engage in Politics was called an idiot by the Greeks. Their definition of the complete human life had nothing to do with the divine—the idea of man’s salvation and perfectibility would have been lost on Aristotle in the Progressive sense. Rather, complete human life tends towards two arenas: Politics or Philosophy. Both lives potentially can lead to the complete human life. The obligation to be involved in the political life, more than merely casting a vote, is at the heart of why the city’s goods are good for man. By the Enlightenment man’s obligation to society was vested in merely voting. The interests of man at large are often mixed with the passions and interests of the individual. Progressives would view that it is important to have experts in positions of authority, so that their own private passions and interests are eliminated. Man is no longer able to make his own decisions, but is left to the dictates of supposed experts. Thus, since society should be dictated by those of superior intellect (experts in a given field), what is good for the city and man are intrinsically connected.

The Conundrum of the Superhero

In the recent installment of the most recent Batman series, The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne is confronted with a very deep question: is he a hero or is he something more? A similar question is presented to a young Clark Kent in the television series Smallville. Each young superhero takes the question at a different approach. For Clark, the question is whether or not he can live a normal life and save those who are closest to him. Bruce on the other hand has to struggle with being a true vigilante who is forced time and again to break the laws of his city Gotham.

At the beginning of the Smallville series, we are shown Clark standing in front of his high school with friends Pete Ross and Chloe Sullivan. In Clark’s hands are a collection of books, on top is a collection of the writings of German philosopher Nietzsche. Clark notices the love of his life Lana Lang standing near the stairs at the entrance of the school. He decides to walk towards her but eventually trips; Lana approaches him to help him pick up his books. When she hands him the Nietzsche book, Lana asks, “So Clark, are you man or superman?” Clark simply responds, “I haven’t figured it out yet.” Clark, due to his special nature, is forced to walk a thin line which helps conceal his identity and yet helps those who are in need. As a result, Clark doesn’t attempt to break the laws of Smallville or Metropolis whenever it is possible. It is hard to peg Clark as a vigilante as you can Bruce Wayne. Clark has no qualms to settle with criminals throughout his two beloved cities. But it is also clear that Clark is a messiah of sorts, sent by his father to Earth to help save humanity. In another episode of Smallville the young Clark and Lana are seen in a cemetery, where Clark is conveniently shown with a statue of an angel behind him giving the allusion of Clark having wings.

Bruce Wayne on the other hand is the orphaned son of a billionaire who himself attempted to save Gotham before being shot down in the back alley of an opera house along with his wife. Bruce is distraught with grief over his parents’ death and eventually leaves the U.S. for Asia. In Asia, Bruce attempts to understand the criminal mind by putting himself in their shoes until he is eventually caught and imprisoned. While imprisoned he is saved by Raj Agul the leader of a group called the League of Shadows, a vigilante group who seeks to help maintain “true justice.” Bruce eventually returns to America to take up the identity of Batman, the alias chosen because he fears bats and hopes that his enemies will eventually grow to fear the one thing he fears most. Batman for better or worse is a vigilante, though Bruce wants to serve justice. Unlike Clark, who more or less does actually serve justice, Bruce puts himself above the laws of Gotham as a Nietzschen “superman” might.

Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent each toe a similar line between being simple heroes and realizing their full potential as saviors in their respective universes. For Clark in Smallville the struggle with becoming a savior is accepting that he must put himself above the laws of man in order to save Metropolis and the world from those who wish to destroy them. Bruce on the other hand, who has already crossed the line, struggles in The Dark Knight with whether or not he is able to be a true savior; if he is that means he must cross that line and not just once in a while but always and forever. Batman is considered by the police of Gotham to be a villain, after all he has broken numerous laws time and again. Bruce is finally confronted with the true struggle before him in The Dark Knight, by the Joker who refuses to see good and bad or morality at all. Bruce has maintained that their is good and there is bad and that there is a set way for things. But if Bruce is to be a savior, it appears that he must be willing to transcend morality and simple understandings of good and bad.

Take the model for both Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent: Jesus Christ, the savior of most of the world’s population. Jesus in the New Testament continuously breaks the laws of Judea and the laws of his Jewish religion. He is ultimately crucified by the Romans for high treason on the charge he has claimed to be superior to Caesar. Jesus is forced to transcend the social norms and laws in order to fulfill his destiny of saving God’s children. Where Clark Kent in Smallville and Bruce Wayne in the most recent adaptation of the Batman comics fail to meet Jesus Christ as messiahs is in different parts. Clark is unwilling to transcend the social norms, in fact his own motto is “Truth, Justice and the American way.” For Bruce, he is more than willing to transcend those norms and create more or less his own morality in the name of justice and salvation of Gotham; Bruce isn’t willing, at least up until the end of The Dark Knight, to take up his cross and become the villain that Gotham needs him to be. For Clark, who essentially is immortal, he can’t do this and so he is constrained by his own very nature to the norms of society in that way. The Superhero, unlike the typical hero, must be willing to imitate the model of Jesus Christ if he is truly willing and able to become the savior of his time and place. Clark eventually does match up to the Christ messiah mosaic because he represents a Nietzschen superman model; Clark as Superman transcends the understanding of justice adopted by the people of Metropolis and establishes his own justice and morality.

Die Pflicht: Fortschritte machen Nationalismus

Die Ideen von der deutscher Novelle ist Pflicht. Pflicht zum Selbst, der Familie, oder zum Stadt. Aber gibt es eine Reaktion zum Staat, die ist die Pflicht zum Gott. Heinrich von Kleist schrieb über Pflicht zum Selbst. Die Verlobung in St. Domingo ist eine Novelle über Willensfreiheit, und so Pflicht zum Selbst. Der blonde Eckbert von Ludwig Tieck ist auch ein Novelle von Pflicht zum Selbst. Aber Der blonde Eckbert ist, auch Die Judenbuche von Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, über Pflicht zu der Familie. Der Schlimmelreiter von Theodor Storm ist über Pflicht zum Staat. Es ist die Novelle über Nationalismus. Und die Reaktion gegen Nationalimus ist Der Tod in Venedig von Thomas Mann. Thomas Mann schrieb über eine Pflicht zu der Übermenschlich, z.ß Dionysus, Gott, oder die Teufel. Es gibt ein Fortschritt in die deutschen Novellen, die ist eine Fortschritt zu Nationalismus.

Erst werde ich über Pflicht zum Selbst, ich werde über Die Verlobung in St. Domingo von Heinrich von Kleist und Der blonde Eckbert von Ludwig Tieck schreiben. Zweite werde ich über Pflicht zu der Familie. Ich werde ein Bisschen über Der blonde Eckbert von Ludwig Tieck schreiben, aber werde ich über Die Judenbuche von Annette von Droste-Hülshoff auch schreiben. Dann werde ich über Pflicht zum Staat, werde ich über dem Schlimmelreiter von Theodor Storm.schreiben. Am Ende werde ich über Pflicht zum Gott, werde ich über dem Tod in Venedig von Thomas Mann schreiben.

Am Anfang gibt es ein Pflicht zu Selbst. Heinreich Kleist schrieb über Pflicht zum Selbst in Die Verlobung in St. Domingo. Gustav ist die Hauptfigur in Die Verlobung in St. Domingo. Er ist ein Soldat und ist er weiß. Gustav liebt Toni, aber Toni ist eine Mulattin. Der Kampf zwischen Gustav und Toni ist den Kampf zwischen Weiß und Mulattin. In Frankreich gibt es ein Revolution. In St. Domingo gibt es ein Revolution von der Sklaven. Gustav und Toni hat ein Kampf mit ihren Familien. Toni hilf Congo und ihre Mutter, die ermordete vielen weißen Soldaten. Aber mussen Gustav und Toni sich Entschlusskraften machen. Sie haben Willensfreiheit, sie haben ein Pflicht zu sich. Kleist schrieb über Willensfreiheit. Man mußt sich Entschlusskraften machen, nicht seinem Familie oder Staat oder Gott. Gustav und Toni symbolizierten diese Idee von Kleist. Am Ende Gustav mußt Selbstmord machen, und mußt er Toni schlossen. Das ist eine Thema von die deutschen Novellen. Pflicht zum Selbe, die Familie, zum Stadt oder Gott enden mit Tod. Aber Toni und Gustav machen der Entschlusskraf sich.

Der blonde Eckbert von Ludwig Tieck ist auch über Pflicht zum Selbe. Tieck schrieb über Schicksal und nicht Willensfreiheit, aber hat er über Pflicht zum Selbe. Am Ende eine alte Frau sprachte zu Eckbert, „Und Bertha war deine Schwester.“[1] Eckbert hat ein Pflicht zum sich. Aber er hat auch ein Pflicht zu seinem Familie. Auch Bertha hat ein Pflicht zu sich. Sie mußt der Freund ihres Mannes die Wahrheit sagen. Sie könnte nicht alle Zeit lügen. Sie hat ein Pflicht zum sich. Sie mußt es sagen, weil die Lüge Bertha ermorden. Tieck schrieb:

Es gibt Stunden, in denen es den Menschen ängstigt, wenn er vor seinem Freunde ein Geheimnis haben soll, was er bis dahin oft mit vieler Sorgfalt verborgen hat, die Seele fühlt dann einen unwiderstehlichen Trieb, sich ganz mitzuteilen, dem Freunde auch das Innerste aufzuschließen, damit er umso mehr unser Freund werde. In diesen Augenblicken geben sich die zarten Seelen einander zu erkennen, und zuweilen geschieht es wohl auch, dass einer vor der Bekanntschaft des andern zurückschreckt.[2]



Die Pflicht zum Selbst ist nicht dieselbe als Die Verlobung in St. Domingo. Tieck schrieb über Schicksal nicht Willensfreiheit. Aber auch schrieb Tieck nicht total über Pflicht zum Selbst. Seine Novelle ist ein Gemengie zwischen Pflicht zum Selbst und der Familie. Bertha’s Pflicht ist zum Selbst. Aber Eckbert’s Pflicht ist zu der Familie. Aber Eckbert starb als Gustav. Die Pflicht ermordete Eckbert und Bertha. Bevor Eckbert starb, die Frau sagte, „Weil du in früher Jugend deinen Vater einst davon erzählen hörtest; er durfte seiner Frau wegen diese Tochter nicht bei sich erziehn lassen, denn sie war von einem andern Weibe.“ Eckbert’s Vater wusste seinem Pflicht zu der Familie. Eckbert vergaß seinem Pflicht zu der Familie. Weil Eckbert vergaß, mußt er sterben.

Seine Familie machst du. Das ist die Idee von Annette von Droste-Hülshoff. Sie schrieb Die Judenbuche, eine Novelle von die Idee Pflicht zu der Familie. Friedrich werde seinem Vater und Onkel werden. Es gibt kein Willensfreiheit in Die Judenbuche, es ist nur Schicksal. Friedrich und die anderen Dorfbewohner leben ausserhalb des Staates. Sie haben ein Pflicht zu der Familie und nicht Selbst. Annette von Droste-Hülshoff schrieb:

Unter höchst einfachen und häufig unzulänglichen Gesetzen waren die Begriffe der Einwohner von Recht und Unrecht einigermaßen in Verwirrung geraten, oder vielmher, es hatte sich neben dem gesetzlichen ein zweites Recht gebildet, ein Recht der öffentlichen Meinung, der Gewohnheit und der durch Vernachlässingung entstandenen Verjährung. [3]



Es gibt kein Stadt in diese Novelle. Friedrich mussen seinem Onkel helfen. Er hat ein Pflicht zu seinem Onkel und Familie. Aber am Ende ist der Stadt notwendig. Die einfältige Dorfbewohner brauchen ein Stadt. Annette von Droste-Hülshoff schrieb eine Warnung am Anfang, die ist ein Warnung zu die einfältige Dorfbewohner:

Wo ist die Hand so zart, dass ohne Irren

Sie sondern mag beschränkten Hirnes Wirren,

So fest, dass ohne Zittern sie den Stein

Mag schleudern auf ein arm verkümmert Sein?

Wer wagt es, eitlen Blutes Drang zu messen,

Zu wägen jedes Wort, das unvergessen

In junge Brust die zähen Wurzeln trieb,

Des Vorurteils geheimen Seelendieb?

Du Glücklicher, geboren und gehegt

Im lichten Raum, von frommer Hand gepflegt,

Leg hin die Waagschal’, nimmer dir erlaubt!

Lass ruhn den Stein – er trifft dein eignes Haupt![4]



Pflicht zu Familie ist ok aber sehr schädlich. Der Recht ist was die Familie machen. Man kann nicht die andere Dorfbewohner urteilen.

So sprachen wir über Pflicht zum Selbst und der Familie. Jetzt werden wir über Pflicht zum Staat. Nationalismus braucht Pflicht zum Staat, oder es kann nicht sein. Theodor Storm schrieb Der Schimmelreiter. Am Kern der Idee ist ein Kampf zwischen Willensfreiheit und Schicksal, oder Pflicht zum Selbst und Pflicht zum Staat. Der Staat beschließt, was man wird. Die Hauptfigur der Novelle ist Hauke, Hauke will mehr als das Shicksal des Staates. Die Frage der Idee ist der Staat besser als das Individuum? Der Schimmelreiter ist eine Geschichte über den Begehren des Mensches gegen die Pflicht zum Stadt, der Familie oder zum Gott. Hauke ist individualistisch. Er denkt, wenn etwas für sich gut ist, dann auch für den Staat. Hauke begehrt mehr als das einfache Leben. Aber am Ende ist Hauke tot und er wäre für seinen Staat gestorben. Hauke sah ein, daß das Individuum nicht ohne den Stadt sein kam. Die Pflicht zu der Familie, zum Selbst sind nicht wichtiger als die Pflicht zum Selbst. Man mußt wollen was den Staat würden. Die Ideen von John F. Kennedy „Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.“[5]

Nicht aller Autoren mögen die Idee von Nationalimus. In Der Tod in Venedig von Thomas Mann gibt es Pflichter zum Gott, oder der Übermenschlich. Gustav Aschenbach ist die Hauptfigur in Der Tod in Venedig. Am Anfang gibt es einem man, vielleicht der Teufel oder Dionysus?[6]Dann geht er nach Venedig. Aber hat Gustav Willensfreiheit, oder Shicksal? Wenn er Schicksal haben, dann gibt es Pflicht zum Gott. Wenn er Willensfreiheit gibt es kein Pflicht zum Gott, aber es ist Pflicht zum Selbst. In Venedig sah Gustav ein Jung, der heißt Tadzio. Gustav ist von dem Jung faziniert. Tadzio ist ein religiös figur für Gustav. Tadzio ist „David“ von Michelanglo. Nach diese Zeit gibt es einer Massenvermehrung der Cholera. Gustav könnte nach München flugen. Warum hat er nicht? Er will Tadzio sehen, er will Gott sehen. Er liebt Tadzio, aber ist es ein unmoralischen Liebe? Wenn er Willensfreiheit hat, ja es ist! Aber ich denke, daß er kein Willensfreiheit hat. Am Ende ist Gustav zu den Strand. Gustav ist krank, aber will er Tadzio einmal Zeit sehen. Gustav hat die Cholera, und er will sterben. Er müßt Tadzio sehen. Tadzio symbolizert Gott, Religion, Moral. Der Tod in Venedig ist eine Warnung, daß Gott ist Tot[7] und Pflicht zum Staat ist überalles. Gustav sah Tadzio „fallen“, er sah Gott fallen.[8] Die Cholera ist Pflicht zum Staat, die ermordete alles. Pflicht zum Gott ist die nure Idee, das kann mit Pflicht zum Staat kampfen. Wir mussen an Gott glauben, oder an unmenschliche etwas. Der Staat ist nicht alles. Gott ist über dem Staat.

Die deutschen Novellen hat ein Fortrschritt zu Nationalismus. Erst ist Pflicht zum Selbst, dann zu der Familie. Heinrich von Kleist, Ludwig Tieck und Annette von Droste-Hülshoff schrieben eine Warnung: Der Selbst und die Familie sind nicht ohne den Staat. Theodor Storm schrieb über die Idee von Pflicht zum Staat. Aber Thomas Mann schrieb eine Warnung: der Staat wird Gott ermorden. Nationalismus ist Shicksal, es gibt kein Willensfreiheit. Man kann nicht ein Individuum in Nationalimus werden. Der Staat macht der Individuum. Nationalimus sagt, „Alles für den Vaterland.“ Es ist die Idee hinter Nationalsozialistlichen Arbeiters Partei, und die Sowjetunion.


Der blonde Eckbert von Ludwig Tieck pg 24

Der blonde Eckbert von Ludwig Tieck 3-4


Die Judenbuche von Annette von Droste-Hülshoff pg. 3-4

Die JudenbucheAnnette von Droste-Hülshoff pg. 3

President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Speech on January 20th 1961.

„Freilich trug er dazu den landesüblichen Rucksack um die Schultern geschnallt, eine gelblichen Gurtanzug aus Lodenstoff, wie es schien, einen grauen Wetterkragen über dem linken Unterarm, den er in die Weiche gestützt kielt, und in der Rechten einen mit eiserner Spitze versehenen Stock, welchen er shräg gegen den Boden stemmte und auf dessen Krück er, bei gekreutzen Füßen, die Hüfte lehnte.“ Der Tod in Venedig pg. 12

Friedrich Nietzsche Die fröhliche Wissenschaft

„Und plötzlich, wie unter einer Erinnerung, einem Impuls, wandte er den Oberkörper, eine Hand in der Hüfte, in schooner Drehung aus seiner Grundpositur und blickte über die Schulter zum Ufer. Der Schauende dort saß, wie er einst gesessen, als zuerst, von jener Schwelle zurückgesandt, dieser dämmergraue Blick dem seinen begegnet war. Sein Haupt war an der Lehne des draußen Schreitenden gefolgt: nun hob es sich, gleichsam dem Blicke entgegen, und sank auf die Brust, so daß seine Augen von unten sahen, indes sein Antlitz den schlaffen, innig versunkenen Ausdruck tiefen Schlummers ziegte..“pg. 139 Der Tod in Venedig


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