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The Radetzky March in 19th Century Europe's Belle Epoque - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Radetzky March: An Analysis A common and recurrent theme throughout history is the varying degrees of identification that one generation passes on to the next with regards an impartation of world view. Such a construct is thoroughly discussed and brought to the reader’s attention in Joseph Roth’s novel, “The Radetzky March”…
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The Radetzky March in 19th Century Europes Belle Epoque
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The Radetzky March in 19th Century Europe's Belle Epoque

Download file to see previous pages... Although this period is oftentimes viewed as a period of peace and prosperity, Roth is able to paint a much more differentiated portrait of a time in which the glory won by an older generation is misunderstood and unappreciated within the subsequent generations; ultimately leading to the downfall of the empire. The first of such characters that is discussed is that of the grandfather (Trotta von Sipolje). A reluctant soldier and mis-characterized hero, Trotta von Sipolje seeks a discharge from the army upon circulation of the incorrect details regarding the incident which took place at the Battle of Solferino. Although a selfless act of bravery was committed by the grandfather, he was completely and entirely unprepared for the level of adoration and propaganda that the state would append to his exploits. Due to this incorrect attribution and praise, the Trotta von Sipolje sought to divorce himself from the military and to a large extent the empire to which he had so dutifully served in an attempt to gain a degree of anonymity within society. Although the events surrounding the world at that time required a generation that was dutifully aware of the events that were taking place, Trotta von Sipolje was instead happy to be blissfully unaware of the circumstances that gripped the nation and demanded action and participation in order to remedy. The extent to which Trotta von Sipolje or the subsequent generations that were discussed could have effectively instigated a change in the course of the nation and/or the empire is doubtful. The author sets about to present a nearly predetermined course that must necessarily be followed. Although it is pointless to second guess history or to make suppositions for what instances might have unfolded at a different rate or differently given another course of action being pursued, it is nonetheless useful to consider how a different subset of actions might have affected a different result of the given period in question. Additionally, it is interesting to note that the reactionary thought patterns of the younger generation were much more muted than one might be predetermined to realize. Whereas it is often the case that a more stoic and conservative generation precedes a more radicalized and discontent younger generation, such is not seen as directly within Roth’s book. Rather, the younger generations attempt to grasp on to the sense of empire and honor that the older generation portends; however, such is a failed construct and they youth are left with neither the empire that they inherited or the strong sense of duty and/or honor that the older generation espoused. This lack of aggressive reactions is represented by the way that Carl Joseph reacts to the orders he gives to fire upon his own countrymen near the border. The changes views of the nation are herein presented due to the fact that Carl Joseph, the son of Trotta von Sipolje) has few qualms regarding gunning down the striking workers who bore legitimate grievances. Instead of a situation that presented itself to his father, Carl Joseph embraces the military regimentation as a way of ignoring the pressing humanitarian concerns of the modern society that greets his per view. Rather than providing a thoughtful commentary on the positive and negative aspects of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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