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Zinberg, D.S. Zinberg, N.E. (1963). Hans Castorp: Identity Crisis without Resolution. Am. Imago, 20(4):393-402.

(1963). American Imago, 20(4):393-402

Hans Castorp: Identity Crisis without Resolution

Dorothy S. Zinberg and Norman E. Zinberg, M.D.

“… all men are in a false position in society until they have realized their possibilities and imposed them on their neighbors. They are tormented by a continual shortcoming in themselves; yet they irritate others by a continual overweening. This discord can be resolved by acknowledged success or failure only: everyone is ill at ease until he has found his natural place, whether it be above or below his birthplace.”

George Bernard Shaw

The Magic Mountain, with its symbolism, its recurrent themes of sickness and death, its character delineations, and its penetrating analysis of German bourgeois traditions, encompasses a gamut of human experience which can hardly fail to fascinate anyone interested in the psychology of human development. From such complexity, it is difficult to abstract one aspect of a character's personality and explore its subtleties without sacrificing an appreciation of the novel's importance as a literary creation.

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