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Alarming Disorder In Thomas Manns Disorder and Early Sorrow he depicts a conventional German upper middle class household struggling to externally transform their characters to act as different people during a party but their essence internally pulls them to revert to their old selves Similarly the narrator and his wife in John Cheevers The Fourth Alarm are confronted with accepting a new lifestyle that seems to tear their family apart Each story follows the patriarch of the family and how he deals with being forced into external situations that he internally does not want to take part of The juxtaposition of the nature of the characters with circumstances that they are uncomfortable in brings out their true identities from which they cannot and do not want to escape The characters in Disorder and Early Sorrow are introduced in their accustomed conditions before a party is to take place in their German home during the Fascist time of the country The head of the household Dr Abel Cornelius is a professor of history which entails that he is a man that is accustomed to certainty and fact that which is abstract and artful is hard for him to understand and therefore be fond of His wife Frau attends to everyday matters of the house while the servants attend to her children There are five children in all four of which have developed personalities Ingrid is the eldest and has the power to manipulate people to do what she wants particularly her father and professors which helps her to achieve a good education though she wants to become an actress Bert is similar in that he feels a calling to the arts and wants to be a dancer which of course displeases his father The younger children are Ellie and 2 Snapper who are close to each other and are each others foils Ellie is reserved mature and favored by her father
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