The Earthquake in Chile (c. s). By Heinrich von Kleist (). Born in Prussia, Kleist served in the Prussian army, spent time in one of Napoleon’s. The Earthquake in Chile by Heinrich Von Kleist is a German short story that is best known for its question of theodicy and whether there is. Complete summary of Heinrich von Kleist’s The Earthquake in Chile. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Earthquake in Chile.

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Nothing fires up a crowd like a scapegoat. The people in the story though, are searching as to why God would create something as evil and destructive as an earthquake. Donna Constanza, who had been walking with Jeronimo, runs to Don Alonzo, but is mistaken for Josephe and is also clubbed to death. Das Erdbeben in Chili ; The Earthquake in Chilethen, demands to be read as a kind of parable that warns against the God-centred interpretation of the world.

He joined the army at age fifteen and resigned seven years later. After shooting her with a pistol, von Kleist ended his own life also with a bullet in the head. If justice is even possible, then it appears to have little to do with laws. Love comes with a cost. This tension between fate and free will ripples throughout the majority of these tales. The sermon compares the earthquake to God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and speaks specifically of Josephe and Jeronimo’s sin.

The abbess and most of the nuns are dead. During lecture as well as seminar, we discussed how philosophers such as Immanuel Kant believed that natural events have no real meaning yet we live in a world where people constantly want to place explanations onto everything that occurs. Josephe, who is holding Don Fernando’s son Juan is grabbed by the crowd. He teaches literature at John A.


Moreover, it is crucial to note that the narrative voice both quotes, and on occasion seems to share in, the God-centred interpretation. The twist in events makes people question whether there is an underlying reason for this natural event of the earthquake as well as what it has done to the people living in the city.

He agreed to a suicide pact with the terminally ill wife of a friend. Review by Tony Miksanek — Published on February 4, The crowd allows them to leave, and just as they think it’s safe to enter the courtyard, a man claims that he is Jeronimo’s father and clubs Jeronimo over the head. Two factors make it a much more exacting reading experience. Early in this roughly 1,letter collection, Hugh Kenner makes a flat declaration He had a brief stint in the Prussian bureaucracy.

They reunite amidst the ruins, struck by the extraordinary cost of their love:. This notion of justice seems to prefigure Kafka: No matter the locale, the main characters share similar profiles. Jeronimo and Josephe continued their relationship and were soon discovered by Josephe’s brother. At the conclusion, Don Fernando compares Juan and Philip and considers how he had acquired them, and remarks; “It almost seemed to him that he should be glad.

She is sent to a nunnery where she gives birth to a little boy, Philipp.

Moral Victories: The Curiously Relevant Prose of Heinrich von Kleist

Is he murderer or martyr, hero, or lunatic? It is and a horrific earthquake rocks the city of Santiago, Chile, on the very day the two lovers are scheduled to die.


Occupying almost half of the book, the novella chronicles the life of a 16th century horse trader. Coetzee in the Promised Land The novel Promised Land might have been the first “alternate future” book of post-aparthei But they make a mistake. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The need to return to society, to one of its central institutions that provides meaning, kleiist simply too great.

Despite the tragedy that befalls most of these protagonists, good things sporadically ensue for other people. The people of the city are searching for an answer as for why god would create an earthquake that destroyed buildings and some people. The town is scandalized.

The Earthquake in Chile – German Literature

The cataclysm collapses most of the city. Don Fernando is a good and noble man. At this moment, a strong earthquake destroys much of the city, freeing Jeronimo from prison. The pursuit of justice leads to jeopardy. The paradisal interlude between these two events is likened to the Garden of Eden, and brings the survivors together into one kleost. Yet it is important to recognize that any such reading of the story runs the risk of turning it into a cautionary tale.

Hence the bitter irony that one disaster follows hard upon the other. University of Nebraska Press,pp.