Historical Context

(Novels for Students)

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

(The entire section is 570 words.)

Literary Style

(Novels for Students)

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

(The entire section is 539 words.)

Literary Techniques

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

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

(The entire section is 416 words.)

Ideas for Group Discussions

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

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

(The entire section is 298 words.)

Social Concerns

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

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...

(The entire section is 689 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Novels for Students)

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

(The entire section is 348 words.)


(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.

(The entire section is 38 words.)

Compare and Contrast

(Novels for Students)

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...

(The entire section is 550 words.)

Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

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

(The entire section is 383 words.)

Literary Precedents

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

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

(The entire section is 89 words.)

Related Titles

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

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

(The entire section is 74 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Novels for Students)

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

(The entire section is 293 words.)