The story speaks of the betrayal of wives to their husbands. A rich and sick bachelor wrote a letter, before nine years of his death, to be delivered to his friends by his servant after his death. This bachelor liked to tell his friends about a hidden secret that tortured his soul many years ago. The letter was read by the doctor, the merchant, and the author. They were astonished to hear that their wives had a certain relationship with this bachelor. These three betrayed men did not act, as it should be to husbands who blow in their inner self by the betrayal of their wives.
The merchant, whose wife died a year ago, told that she was very passionate to him, and he could do nothing to her. He accused the bachelor of ill mannered and an envy person. The author was fond of his wife, for she was a respected woman and was with him in his difficulties. So, he did not like to angry his wife who was his pride and success. The doctor’s idea was also like the author’s he did not want to ruin his family. The doctor put the letter into a safe place, and he liked this letter to be unfolded by his wife after his death. He imagined that she would whisper,” Oh, how splendid of you, how noble”
This fiction story includes many meanings. We might interpret the three men’s reactions as a noble reaction or a weak one. It depends on the educational level and traditional believes of the milieu of the reader.
The three friends agreed among themselves to hide this secret for the sake of their children and wives. This confirms that they are living in the same society and hold the same educational level. For this, the writer does not mention their names. They are used in this story to symbolize a certain class in any society.
We might explain that a friendship between married and unmarried people lacks a main supporter for its existence – the family. Had the bachelor lived a married life he would not have written this scornful letter to his friends? He would be more sympathetic and passionate towards the wives’ of his friends. He would not occupy himself with events that happened a long time ago. He would care for the future of his friends, But being an unprofessional man and without work he used to deal with trifle subject.
Most of the American writers like to tell to the reader that there is no perfect place in this world after the fall of Adam and Eve in sin. So, reaching perfectas is impossible as reaching “Eden”. For this, condemnation is not for man but for God. So, the reaction of the three friends was not to condemn their wives, for they are sinners in their inner selves like their wives.
St. Rosemary Educational Institution. "Betrayal in Arthur Schnitzler’s The Death of a Bachelor." http://schoolworkhelper.net/. St. Rosemary Educational Institution, Last Update: 2016. Web. Retrieved on: Tuesday 31st May 2016. http://schoolworkhelper.net/betrayal-arthur-schnitzler%e2%80%99s-the-death-of-a-bachelor/.