A structural analysis of Gellert's novel Leben der Schwedischen Graefin von G
Klofstad, Lucille A
Master of Arts
Structural elements of Gellert's novel, such as the choice of a narrator, the use of letters and dialog, contribute to a system of abstractions which pervades the work. As a predominantly didactic writer Gellert was interested in structural aspects of literature and their influence on the reader. He believed that the reader was most influenced by a work of art, if a sentimental identification by the reader with characters in the work was encouraged by the author. The sections of Gellert's novel which are least abstract, that is, which allow an identification with the characters rather than an abstract philosophical approach, become generally more frequent as the novel progresses. His style becomes freer. The solution of the problem of evil in Part One of the novel is abstract generalizing by the narrator; in Part Two the characters are allowed to work out their individual solutions, thus allowing Gellert to use structural elements which decrease abstraction. For this reason he is also able in the second part to approach more closely his ideal of didactic purpose in literature.