Comparing the Theme of Self-Discovery in Demian and Siddhartha

2415 Words 10 Pages
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,