Thinking Outside the Box of Christianity Essay

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Humans have an attribute that animals do not have: free will. In our lives, we are frequently presented with many opportunities to make our own choices, but what exactly fuels and supports our decision-making? Sometimes, we act impulsively for no reason, but for the most part, we are often influenced by various outside factors, such as past experiences, religious beliefs, or peer pressure, to make our choices. Emil Sinclair, the narrator of Herman Hesse’s bildungsroman Demian, is an example of an individual who incorporates different aspects and beliefs of religion, particularly Christianity, into his life. Raised in a Christian household, Emil has always viewed religion as a big role; not only does religion influence his actions, it also…show more content…
This was the world in which morning hymns were sung and Christmas celebrated” (Hesse 3). On occasion, he was certain that he was destined to be as orderly and superior as his mother and father – perfect examples of the ‘light’ realm. However, in spite of struggling to find his inner self, his path and hopes to achieve greatness go astray. Emil experiences his first sense of religious doubt after he tells a lie, and as a result, he feels that he has entered the realm of evil and sin. “Unquestionably I belonged to the realm of light and righteousness; I was my parents’ child. But in whichever direction I turned I perceived the other world, and I lived within that other world as well, though often a stranger to it, and suffering from panic and a bad conscience” (4-5). Keeping a secret from his guardians, Sinclair perceives his father as less powerful and holy. In a religious sense, Emil’s feelings for his father represent his feelings for God, and thus Sinclair’s image of Him as sacred is likewise diminished by his personal experience in the ‘dark’ realm. In addition, Sinclair compares himself to the Prodigal son, but unlike the Prodigal son of Christian doctrine, Emil does not return to ask for forgiveness. As Emil Sinclair grows older, he is presented with distinct perspectives which differ with his religion, but instead of abandoning Christianity all together, he selects

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