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Die “sogenannte Sittlichkeit”

Anmerkungen zur Didaktik und ihrer Karikatur in Heinrich Manns ‚Professor Unrat oder Das Ende eines Tyrannen‘

Stefan Born


Pages 53 - 73



The article discusses the caricature of teaching and didactics in Heinrich Mann’s novel ‚Professor Unrat oder Das Ende eines Tyrannen‘ (1905, Small Town Tyrant). There are many parallels between the protagonist Rath and Gustave Flaubert as characterized by Heinrich Mann in his essay ‚Eine Freundschaft: Gustave Flaubert und George Sand‘ (1905, A friendship: Gustave Flaubert and George Sand) which was published shortly after Professor Unrat. The comparison between these two texts aims to support the argument that the character of Rath is ridiculed mainly through of his corrupted relationship to power. To please the influential groups of society, which he nevertheless secretly despises, he disregards his own most basic ethical and scientific beliefs and thus becomes a target of satire. As a corrupted specimen of scientific humanism, the caricature of Rath is also part of a larger characterization of the Wilhelmine society.

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