Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Wolfgang Mieder

Second Advisor

Dennis F. Mahoney


The purpose of this thesis is to address the underlying psychological influences on main characters in three German Novellen: Ludwig Tieck’s Der blonde Eckbert, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff’s Die Judenbuche, and Gerhart Hauptmann’s Bahnwärter Thiel. The motivation for my work comes from my deep interest in German as well as German literature. My many years studying in this field paired with a strong interest in the field of psychology have inspired me to write this thesis, which will more specifically address the environmental influences which shape behavior of main characters. While there is an innate, inherited aspect to an individual’s disposition, a large part of a person’s developed personality comes from the natural and social world. Furthermore, I will address the effects of active and passive social and natural environments to show their heavy influences on the development of the protagonists’ personalities. These influences will then be addressed in terms of how they determine the decisions made by the characters as well as their ultimate role in the subsequent actions taken by them.



Number of Pages

91 p.