He represents a civilized Germany, a role which in itself means that Mann's conception of Germany was not a simple one; he is mild of manner, sane and reasonable, though he is attracted to the demonic in Adrian at the same time as he fears it.

Can you please explain to me why the indefinite article is placed before the word "Germany".

1 Answer 1


He represents Germany, no article. Countries normally take no articles. That would be used, say, at the United Nations.

He represents a civilized Germany, with article.

It is not really defined. It is like: He is a new breed of entrepreneur. Same idea. Undefined. General.

It is not: the Germany of World War I or the barbarous Germany of 1942.

And: He represents civilized Germany. would imply there is an uncivilized one, too. Or that civilized Germany is being compared to uncivilized Germany or some other adjective plus country name.

He represents "nice" Manhattan as opposed to "nasty" Brooklyn.

Same idea: No determiner suggests a contrast to another adjective, same place, or another adjective and another place.

  • WIth your new qualification, I withdraw my objection. Feb 11, 2019 at 0:24

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