Despite the wealth of literature written about Theodor Storm's life and works, a theme central to many of his novellas has not been thoroughly explored. Much of Storm's literature is built around love relationships. The author's unique concept of love and his somewhat irrational adherence to it in his personal life make the reader's understanding of this ideal especially important for the interpretation of his works. In this analysis, Storm's concept of love is explored and special consideration is given to the pivotal role that communication plays within it. Storm's rejection of religion and consequential dedication to the precepts of secular humanism and love are first examined with respect to his private life. Attention is then turned to Storm's novellas. The love relationships in Immensee, Veronica, Viola tricolor, Schweigen and Der Schimmelreiter are addressed specifically. Most importantly, the communication within them is proven to be crucial to the outcomes of these novellas. The success of intimate communication hinges upon the central characters' acceptance of relatively modern gender roles for their time. This analysis illustrates the importance of the author's modern concept of communication and thereby challenges the popular notion that Theodor Storm is merely a Heimatdichter.
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