Esch and the spirit of revenge in hermann broch's "die schlafwandler"
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This thesis deals with Hermann Broch's novel-trilogy Die Schlafwandler (1931/1932). At the center of this inquiry is August Esch, the protagonist of the second novel, Esch oder die Anarchie. Broch portrays Esch as a figure who attempts to flee the most elusive aspect of reality: death. The first chapter of this thesis serves as an introduction to the novel-trilogy in general. Next, I discuss Broch's conception of Esch and the historical dimension of his struggle. In the third chapter, I outline Broch's understanding of the Platonic idea and his theory of value systems. The fourth chapter shows how Broch uses three different female characters to expound the connection between Esch's fear of death and his intensifying sleepwalking state of being. The concluding chapter deals with Eduard v. Bertrand's function in relation to Esch—the protagonist's denunciation of Bertrand evokes a connection to what Friedrich Nietzsche calls the spirit of revenge.