It has been often said of the novel that the illness of the residents of the sanatorium reflects a civilization in crisis. For Castorp as for Mann, the sanatorium at Davos is not so much a site of cure as it is a spectacle of illness and the variousness with which its patients experience it. The sanatorium for Castorp is the place that liberates illness from its repressed or denied condition in the "normal" life he leads in the flatlands. Mann's interest in ideas has a strong theatrical element. Naphta, Settembrini, and to a lesser extent Behrens and Krokowski are performers of ideas. Idefending the Inquisition, Naphta implicitly draws an analogy between the use of torture to obtain confession and illness as God's and nature's way of obtaining acknowledgement of the body's mortality. One doesn't have to be in a war to have the experience of being ravaged by a fatal illness.