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Written by Mason Tabor
A lonely teenager newly immigrated from Germany to New York, Karl is challenged to find work in a new land in a complicated moral landscape. His persistent compassion makes for a lot of compromising situations and opens him up to a number of people who take advantage of him.
Literarily, Jacob serves as a foil to the selfless and aimless teen. This man is Brußmann's uncle and wants the teen to put distance between himself and those he is constantly seeking to help. He is a successful man with lots of good connections, but nevertheless, Brußmann leaves his company.
Robinson and Delamarche
This duo is the Rosencranz and Gildenstern of the novella, compromising much of the plots complexity through their derisive and destructive behavior. Robinson is responsible for Brußmann's being fired from the Hotel Occidental, and for bringing him back to Delamarche, into a compromising situation in which the teen is literally trapped and held against his will.
An obese and wealthy lady who hosts Delamarche and asks Karl to accept a job offer as her servant. When he refuses, she captures him and forces his hand.
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