Satyren Thomas Glahn

Studenteropgave: Speciale

  • Tanni Andersen
4. semester, Dansk, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The framework for this thesis is an analysis of Knut Hamsuns novel Pan from 1894. Hamsun is internationally recognized and received the Nobel Prize in 1920 for Markens Grøde. Pan has been analyzed by quite a few researchers in its time and characteristic for their work is a focus on the lyrical descriptions of nature and Pan as a love story between the protagonist Thomas Glahn and the civil Edvarda Mack.
In this thesis it is not my aim to question the importance of this focus, but to point out, that the role of the narrator is underestimated and has not been given enough attention in the previous research. This side of the novel is, in my view, the most important factor in the narrative and is also the main reason behind my thesis statement.

In this thesis I wish to analyze Pan with a view to delve deeper into the role of the narrator and how this role contributes to the novel as a whole, including a look at Glahn’s mind and the existential issues that he seems to be controlled by. These issues should, among other things, be viewed in the light of his relationship to Edvarda, his yearning for nature as well as his general character.

To shed some light on the problematics above, I will use these theorists: Friedrich Nietzsche, Wayne C. Booth and Dorrit Cohn. Nietzsche contributes with a philosophical angle and serves to enlighten Glahn’s mind and, in a more general optic, to focus on human relations to nature and culture. In my analysis of the literary-theoretical elements, Booth and Cohn will be used. Booth works within a conceptual framework that contains five degrees of distance each shedding a different light on the narrator’s role in Pan. Cohn enriches the analysis on several points but especially shines in her thoughts on the retrospective.
In my analysis I discover that Glahn is an unreliable narrator who is deceiving himself. The narrator in the epilogue turns out to be just as unreliable. It is the analysis of the two respective narrators that has formed the base of my analysis. In terms of genres it turns out that the novel plays on several elements and is beyond the scope of the current established genre conventions. The torn genres become a parallel to Glahn’s mind. Through the analysis it becomes clear that Glahn is a man who is wavering between an urge for connectedness with nature and his civil self that is governed by his undying love for Edvarda as well as his title of lieutenant. The Greek god of Pan is therefore strongly connected to Glahn in the form of the satyr. This internal division turns out to be of great importance in determining the distraught outcome of the love story between Glahn and Edvarda. Another characteristic about Glahn is his eager participation in love triangles. The love triangles that often end up in tragedy are related to a genre that contains features of the Greek tragedy.
Glahns part in the love triangles has been analyzed as an expression for lack of wanting to commit himself and a sign of his seductive nature. In this correlation Glahn’s fortune with women is his misfortune with men who only sees a rival in this virile and dashing hunter. Characteristic for Pan is also a strong symbolism where, among other things, Glahn’s hut is one of the narrative’s central symbols. When Pan is put into perspective it is compared to Martin A. Hansens Løgnere from 1949. As it turns out, despite certain differences, the two novels have a common problematic in terms of the protagonists search for happiness. At the same time there seems to be strikingly many similarities on the story-level as well.
Udgivelsesdato31 maj 2012
Antal sider89
EmneordPan, Hamsun
ID: 63484640