Short story “Mario and the Magician”
Thomas Mann began writing a short story in 1929. The author’s personal impressions of the 1926 “holidays” spent in Italy are the basis of the work. The ideas of the totalitarian regime, which were emerging at that time in Germany, pushed him to this.
In the novel, he highlighted the problem of “fascism and freedom.” The author discovered the dangerous craving of society for irrationality, its willingness to neglect the ethical and rational principles of life.
In the Cipolla phenomenon, the writer explores the type of “strong personality” with which many inhabitants in Germany of the 1920s and 1930s had hopes for establishing order in the country.
In the image of Cipolla, the author revealed the terrible inhuman essence of the totalitarian power that such a person craves.
Chipolla is portrayed in the unity of his hypostases – as a “strong personality” and as a semi-fantastic character in tune with the evil wizard.
The writer, in the course of the short story, leads the reader to the conclusion that a “strong personality” is not just a person who is able to lead the masses of people, but also the ideal leader of their conscious and unconscious desires.