Date of Award



Languages, Cultures, International Studies (German)

Faculty Advisor

Chiasson, Christopher


This honors thesis argues that Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent film Metropolis contains nonverbal narrative elements (including body language, architectural proxemics, and phallic imagery) that align the film with Marxist class structures. The film provides a moral epigram, “the mediator between head and hands must be the heart,” which this paper aims to define through a Marxist lens. This thesis narrates Metropolis’ verbal and nonverbal narratives through observing intertitles in the film alongside the elements that perplex the viewer and overload the senses. The aim of this paper is to notice where the head, hands, and heart make various unexpected appearances throughout the film – in Metropolis, the conceptual head and the productive hands are aligned to specific socioeconomic statuses. The heart is what must aid dysfunction between the two.