Buddenbrooks Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Buddenbrooks Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

The temple of sea (symbol)

Toni was a representative of a very honorable family, and her duty was to continue the family’s traditions, to marry a person of her society and do everything only on the benefit of her kin. In this way she might be considered as a slave of the prejudices. Morton was a representative of the people, he was a son of a sailor. But these two young people fell in love with each other during the summer when Toni stayed at the Schwarzkopf’s. They very often went to the “Temple of sea” – that’s how they called the lighthouse. And their they declared their love to each other, and promised to wait for each other, and when time would come Morton would ask Toni’s hand. And this “temple of the sea” becomes a symbol of freedom, a freedom from all the prejudices, and a place where they could be Toni and Morton, who loved each other. Unfortunately Toni did not stay true to her love and her promise, she married Grunlich in order to glorify her family, and stayed a slave to the end of her days.

The firm (motif)

The firm called “Johann Buddenbrooks” has been founded about one hundred years ago, and since that time has been an object of jealous among other businessmen. It has been successful and of great competitive capacity, and made the directors a credit. In the book the firm is very deeply connected with the family, these two objects are not talked about separately. And what id good for the family is good for the firm, and vice verse. And this motif of the firm is traced throughout the whole story. Money would not be taken out from the capital, because it would bring some trouble to the firm, even if this money is needed to the family. If the Buddenbrooks family is a body, then the firm is its soul.

Sacrifice (motif)

Society’s prejudices and long ago set principles made representatives of rich and famous family to sacrifice their lives, happiness for the sake of the family’s name. Thus Antonia has sacrificed her love, as well as Thomas, for the sake of family, firm and its future. And this is the time when decline starts, as they were not happy, and it is difficult for a misery person to succeed.

Old house (Symbol)

The old house where Thomas, Antonia, Christian have grown up after their mother’s death was sold. For Antonia it was a great loss, as she always had found a refuge here after her unsuccessful marriages. And it becomes a symbol of both their greatness and misery, it has become a place where there hopes has been born, and after so many years these hopes has become bygone.

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