Comparing the Theme of Self-Discovery in Demian and Siddhartha

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Literature reflects many aspects of human nature. It can be seen as a collection of mankind's thoughts. The intangible is transformed from brainwave patterns to ink patterns. What leads to the writing of literature varies from author to author. In the case of Hermann Hesse, it was his personal experiences in life. In the novels Demian and Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse was influenced by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, both psycho-analysts. A personal crisis, which caused Hesse to undergo psycho-analysis with Dr. J.B. Lang, led to the writing of Demian in 1919. His fascination with Eastern cultures and his trip to India in 1922 directly resulted in the creation of the novel…show more content…
In both novels, Hermann Hesse explores the theme of self-discovery by portraying two contrasting worlds, including an all-knowing figure, and involving religion. By developing two contrasting worlds, the protagonist, Sidd in Siddhartha and Sinclair in Demian, is able to explore different philosophies and unite the two worlds to find a harmonious relationship between them. The use of an all-knowing figure provides the protagonist with a guiding mentor to aid in the exploration of life and in the attainment of wisdom, which is an essential part of self-discovery. Religion, as a fundamental road to self-discovery, is a foundation that is first accepted, then questioned, eventually rejected, and finally modified. These three elements of finding one's own personal philosophy, gaining wisdom, and finding a place in society are stops along the road to self-discovery. In these novels, success is the discovery of the true self. Developing contrasting worlds allows the protagonist to explore different philosophies and unite the two domains to find a harmonious relationship between them. In this way,

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