Doctor Faustus (Thomas Mann)

Love and Humanity: Casualties to Divine Warfare

Christianity's mythic war between God and Satan for the heart of mankind has long fascinated the Christian world. The twentieth century seems in particular to contemplate the idea that perhaps, looking at the trajectory of its history, Satan is winning this war. Thomas Mann explores this notion in the 1947 novel Doctor Faustus, using the conflict between God and the Devil as a powerful influence upon the metamorphosis of his protagonist, Adrian LeverkÃhn. While a multitude of characters influence LeverkÃhn's development, a few in particular have exceptional impact. This impact lies not only in his personal development, but also in his journey towards either salvation or condemnation, and these characters act as messengers sent from both heaven and hell to win LeverkÃhn's soul. The scales, however, seem tilted in the favor of the demonic, and though LeverkÃhn discovers that he is in fact able to love someone other than himself, this realization is coupled with tragedy. LeverkÃhn finds himself trapped by Fate as Heaven and Hell grapple for his soul-for redemption versus damnation-and ultimately he must yield to the victor that has finally embraced humanity.

From the novel's beginning, metamorphosis, often coupled...

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