Please join StudyMode to read the full document. Demian The novel Demian by Hermann Hesse explores the idea of duality and its development in the protagonist from childhood to adulthood. Sinclair experiences many events that cause him to reflect on his conscience and his view of the world. Sinclair seeks guidance from Demian throughout the story and begins to see the world as two places, one dark and one light.
The novel is set in Germany in the decade preceding World War I, roughly to Narrated by Emil Sinclair, Demian describes Sinclair's personal inward journey to a genuine understanding of his deep inner self. The character Max Demian, Sinclair's schoolmate, helps to open Sinclair's mind to unconventional ways of thinking that ultimately lead to self-discovery. Through his years of grade school, high school, and university education, Sinclair encounters several personal teachers who lead him toward a revelation of true self-knowledge. The novel ends during World War I, when both young men have been wounded in battle. Demian applies concepts of Jungian psychoanalysis in a strongly symbolic narrative drawing from Christian theology, Nietzschean philosophy, and Eastern mysticism. Demian struck a chord with Germany's postwar youth, who felt it expressed a common search for personal identity.
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The reception of Hesse's work by critics, both in Germany and abroad, changed over the course of several distinct phases in his life, as well as after his death. His first novel, Peter Camenzind , was popularly received by German critics and readers. However, during World War I, Hesse's move to neutral Switzerland and his public denouncement of war and German nationalism caused the German public to regard him as a traitor to his nation, resulting in the denouncement of his writing by most Germany readers and critics. Demian was first published in , within a year after the end of World War I. In an attempt to evade his declining reputation in Germany, Hesse submitted Demian under the pseudonym Sinclair the same name as the novel's protagonist and narrator.
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