Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ulrich, the man without qualities

Ulrich is the man without qualities.  He doesn't necessarily fit into or believe in the status quo, but nor does he completely revolt against the status quo.  He is unique in the way that he sees things and thinks about life and concepts of society.  He sees life, society, and material things without the preconceived notions about what is good, bad, or intolerable.   To be a man without qualities is to not fit into a mold, to not do things the way either the pro-status quo or the anti-status quo would do them.  Perhaps, even, to break the mold and therefore not have qualities that are already defined by society but to have qualities that society does not recognize as valuable or prestigious.  I think the way that Ulrich values simplicity and does not allow society to dictate how he should think are both great qualities that a man could possess, but the society in which he lives does not see them as qualities because they are not a part of previous thought or custom.  I think Ulrich is really interesting character and I look forward to Musil developing him further because currently it seems as though he is a symbol of the movement in greater society than a developed character in his own right.

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