Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Ulrich defines himself as a man without qualities because of the way he percieves himself in relation to other members of society. He doesn't seem displeased at the idea of being without qualities, but neither is he happy about it. He thinks to himself that a man going about his day and doing normal activities expends more energy than an athlete who lifts a huge weight once in a day(ch.1), and it is interesting to see how he is pulled in two directions by that thought. He likes the idea that these heroic efforts seem miniscule in comparison to a steady effort, and yet also disappointed by the failure of his past attempts to be a man with qualities. It's almost as though he can't seem to excel at anything, and therefore tries to mask his feelings of inadequacy but is never quite able to do so. He seems to have lost himself and lost control of his destiny. The simple act of furnishing his home is left to others, as though he doesn't trust himself to make these decisions. Ulrich floats through life, occasionally pausing and taking everything in, then letting himself be swept back into the usual patterns. He is actively taking in information and thinking about the world around him, but he is not taking decisive action.

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