Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What Qualifies Ulrich?

When I was watching the news today, there was a notice about murdered policemen, followed by news about "a male in Seattle". This got me into thinking about how some identities stand out more or are emphasized more than others.

Ulrich, to me, seems like a man who is in a constant search of his identity. And not just any identity or character, but a character that stands out. He has a certain image or an ideal of a "qualified" person, and seeks to become it. For example, he joined the cavalry to an attempt to become a "tyrant", which in his view is a "great man". Certainly, had he become one, in his society (or perhaps even historically) he will be noticed and identified as a tyrant.

Especially in the 19th century Vienna, where titles and status quo were really important in how a person was seen, for Ulrich, being just "Ulrich" was not a quality in itself. It is certainly not a character that stands out in the 19th century Viennese society, and in such a way, Ulrich (thinks that he) does not have "qualities".

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