Date: December 1996
Creator: Igo, William Scott
Description: Born in 1862, Gerhart Hauptmann witnessed the creation of the German Empire, the Great War, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and World War II before his death in 1946. Through his works as Germany's premier playwright, Hauptmann traces and exemplifies Germany's social, cultural, and political history during the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, and comments on the social and political climate of each era. Hauptmann wrote more than forty plays, twenty novels, hundreds of poems, and numerous journal articles that reveal his ideas on politics and society. His ideas are reinforced in the hundreds of unpublished volumes of his diary and his copious letters preserved in the Prussian Staatsbibliothek, Berlin. In the 1960s, Germans celebrated Hauptmann's centenary as authors who had known or admired Hauptmann published biographies that chronicled his life but revealed little of his private thoughts. This dissertation examines Hauptmann's life from his early childhood through his adult life with emphasis on social and political commentaries found in his works, diaries, and letters. Hauptmann told of the social problems alcohol and greed created and used historical events to express his concern about Germany's labor and social conditions. He also used historical events to address the political problems that ...
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