Boll symbolically portrays absence of love as material poverty and lack of food in Hans's life. The main character of the novel, Hans Schneir belongs to a wealthy family and establishes romantic relations with Marie, a young student. Thus, as soon as Marie abandoned him and he lost his love, he falls into poverty and start drinking. Thus, in defining himself as an artist, Hans comes to reembrace life, if only as the raw material of art. "If you love one man, surely you can only mean your own" (Boll 201). In this scene, however, material reality is no longer embodied in the sexualized, female body of a girl he loves (Habermas 317).
Boll argues that love, similar to food, 'is for sale' (Boll 10). Love is a commodity which has its unique value and available for mass society. Through negative and positive examples Boll unveils that love is shown to be commodity and a gift dispenser. The form of the novel is, however, not only determined by the conception of love as a commodity for private consumption; it is a result also of the hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie in the presence of art, and is for this reason the art form least like art. ...Show more