Historical Context

Germany: 1871–1918
Demian is set in Germany, beginning approximately ten years before the start of World War I. The period of...

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Literary Style

Narrative Voice Demian is written in the first-person narrative voice. Emil Sinclair is both the narrator and the protagonist of the story....

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Literary Techniques

As indicated above, the layout of Demian is uncomplicated. This short book (in most translations, about 140 pages) is divided into...

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Ideas for Group Discussions

As a preparation for the discussion of this novel, some study of depth psychology, particularly the work of Freud and Jung, would be helpful,...

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Social Concerns

This novel was published right after World War I, and it reflects the state of society at that time in central Europe, as Hermann Hesse...

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Bibliography and Further Reading

Mann, Thomas, “Introduction,” in Demian, by Hermann Hesse, Harper & Row Publishers, 1965, pp. ix–x....

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(Great Characters in Literature)

Boulby, Mark. Hermann Hesse: His Mind and Art, 1967.

Field, George Wallis. Hermann Hesse, 1970.

Mileck, Joseph. Hermann Hesse: Life and Art, 1978.

Otten, Anna, ed. Hesse Companion, 1977.

Ziolkowski, Theodore. The Novels of Hermann Hesse: A Story in Theme and Structure, 1965.

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Compare and Contrast

1871–1918: This period of German history is known as the era of the German Empire. In 1871, the German Empire is formed, and under a...

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Topics for Further Study

Demian takes place during two distinct eras of German history, and was published in a third era. Research and write about the history...

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Literary Precedents

The Bildungsroman genre has a long and distinguished history. Perhaps the best known early example is Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's...

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Related Titles

Two novels that preceded Demian, Peter Camenzind and Beneath the Wheel may be judged as related, since both of them deal with...

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What Do I Read Next?

The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) is the seminal text on dream theory by Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. Hesse was...

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