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Literature / Professor Unrat

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Heinrich Mann's novel about a despotic teacher, which was the basis of the movie The Blue Angel.


This novel provides examples of:

  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Lohmann, who slacks off studying and educates himself instead, but still would get good grades if Unrat graded him justly.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: For Unrat, ruining the former disobedient students is worth ruining his own fortune and allowing his wife to cheat on him.
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  • Embarrassing Nickname: The basis of the Professor's mania, hatred and tyranny towards his students is the nickname "Unrat" ("Garbage"), which is completely justified in-universe: he is described as very ugly, disheveled, prematurely aged, rather incompetent and a failure in anything including his own former marriage.
  • Loving a Shadow: Ertzum, loving Rosa for reminding him of a peasant girl, who made him a man.
  • Married to the Job: Unrat to the school, later to seizing power on the town.
  • Nouveau Riche: The reason for which the wealthy men of the town are so easily ensnared and swindled in Unrat's gambling ring.
  • Sadist Teacher: Unrat is a petty tyrant who hates all of his students, and delights in punishing them or giving them bad grades.
  • Sleeps with Everyone but You: Rosa is a cheap hooker but she wouldn't be with Ertzum for his whole inheritage. Justified in-universe by the fact Ertzum—despite his aristocratic standing—is extremely stupid and boorish, so stupid he makes the Professor appear brilliant by comparison.
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