Death in Venice

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The Red-Haired Man Character Analysis

While out for a walk in Munich, Aschenbach sees a mysterious red-haired, foreign-looking man. The man looks directly at Aschenbach, and inexplicably awakens in him a desire to travel to faraway, exotic places. It is unclear whether the man really exists, or is a delirious vision of Aschenbach’s. In either case, he can be seen as standing in for some of the repressed part of Aschenbach’s personality, an embodiment of Aschenbach’s inner desires for travel, foreignness, and exoticness.
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The Red-Haired Man Character Timeline in Death in Venice

The timeline below shows where the character The Red-Haired Man appears in Death in Venice. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Repression, the Mind, and the Self Theme Icon
Travel, Geography, and Climate Theme Icon
...church. He was reading the various inscriptions on the church, when he suddenly noticed a man on the church’s porch with red hair and a “somewhat unusual appearance.” (full context)
Repression, the Mind, and the Self Theme Icon
Travel, Geography, and Climate Theme Icon
The strange man appeared to be foreign and “peered sharply and searchingly into the distance with colorless, red-lashed... (full context)