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Essay about Hermann Hesse's Demian

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Hermann Hesse's Demian

 

The biblical story of Abel and Cain was deeply rooted in this novel. 

This theme was used to explore the life of a young man growing up in Germany. 

Compared to the novel Siddhartha, Demian had a more surrealistic quality to

it.  Some of the physical events that occurred would not have been possible in

reality.  In Siddhartha, only the mental events were surreal.  The theme of

self-discovery was explored with a Jung approach. Hermann Hesse was obviously

under the influence of Dr. Carl Jung when he wrote the novel. 

 

     The story was told as a lookback into the past.  By the end of the first

couple of pages, Emil Sinclair explicitly revealed  this fact to the reader. 

The development of the two worlds of good and evil took place early in the

novel.  Sinclair's home and his family symbolized the good of the world, while

almost everything else outside of the household was considered the evils of

the world.  Max Demian was a strange being because he seemed to be an all-

knowing character.  He was the wise one, similar to the river in Siddhartha. 

As the story developed, the narrator (Sinclair) became lost in his dreams and

the boundaries between reality and fantasy were frequently mixed up.  Because

of his troublesome dreams, Sinclair slowly lost control of his life and was

controlled by them.

 

     The paintings done by Sinclair were one of the most symbolic of all

symbols.  His paintings transformed from one figure to another, right before

his eyes.  Some times, they were two of more figures at once.&nb...


... middle of paper ...


...m as unique and not evil.  Cain

was the stronger of the two brothers and his actions were justified.  Though

Demian had corrupted Sinclair by teaching him how to interpret the bible,

Demian was like a father-figure to Sinclair.  Demian had lifted Sinclair out

of his ruined life and had given him freedom.  Demian was some kind of free

spirit, almost like Christ.

 

     Similar to the story of Siddhartha, at one point in the novel Sinclair

discovered the beauty of the world around him.  Sinclair became as wise as

Demian by the end of the novel.  In the final page, the death of Demian

signified the achievement of his goal.  He had gained experience in life. He

had discovered himself.  Demian had moved on to another world when he saw that

Sinclair no longer needed his help.


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