Buddenbrooks Imagery

Buddenbrooks Imagery

In touch with nature

Toni has arrived to the sea in order to think over Mr. Grunlich’s proposal, her parents insisted on it and gave her some time to think over all the advantages and benefits this marriage could bring both their family and business. But Toni came to the sea in order to think of nothing, she wanted to have some rest, and all the nature around was there to support her in her wish: “They [Toni and Morten] walked, and the long waves rolled and murmured rhythmically beside them; the fresh salty wind blew free and unobstructed in their faces, wrapped itself around their ears, and made them feel slightly numb and deliciously dizzy. They walked along in that wide, peaceful, whispering hush of the sea that gives every sound, near or far, some mysterious importance.” Sea itself was on the Toni’s side, so calm and beautiful it was, and in such a affectionate company as of Mortan’s.

Blusterous morning

It was already September, and Toni has to leave soon to the city, and Morton to the university. And on one of these mornings Grunlich visited the house at the sea to see old Mr. Schwarzkopf in order to find out whether it was true that his son has some intentions and prospects on Toni, who he already considered his bride. Before his arrival the weather as simply dreadful :”it was raining heavily; earth, water and sky has as if collected together; streams of the rain hit the windows and came down like rivers”. The image gives a strong impression of sadness and some troubles. And it happened so, Toni and Morton were separated. And such such a weather serves as a background to their misery.


In 1948 there were some disorders all around the country, people wanted some change in country and society. And in one evening when the duma of Marienkirche gathered to discuss the situation people have headed for the building where were the consul. When Mr. Buddenbrook looked through the window he saw “a bunch of rebels”, but even with a number of people much bigger that those in the building the street “seemed empty”. The set system in society at that time was rather strong, and no matter how many people were unsatisfied, here matted not quantity but quality. But what really made Mr. Buddenbrook angry was that “it was already late time but the light still were off”. The image of a dark street with a lot of poor of the city provides rather a negative image of poverty.


The world has found out that Antonia’s husband Mr. Grunlich became a bankrupt. Mr. Buddenbrook came to his son-in-law to see how his matters were. When he, Grunlich and the last’s banker gathered in a room there started rain outside, and it became cold and dark inside. It adds to the image all the pain and disastrous matter of facts. And in some way serves as a foreshadowing of the fact that Grunlich will receive no help.

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