2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
Hermann Hesse was born in Germany, but has lived most of his life in Switzerland. Throughout his career, he was interested in various layers of world culture. Among the topics of concern to him were philosophical and religious systems, and even analytical psychology. All this was reflected in his works, one of which is "Steppenwolf".
A book within a book
The novel begins with the discovery by the protagonist of the notes of a certain Harry Geller, but the most remarkable thing is that they were marked with the inscription "Only for lunatics." Actually, the whole story revolves around these notes. They describe the life of Geller, his thoughts, dreams and fears. He was what in the modern world would be called a "loner psycho" - aloof and timid, at first he causes nothing but wariness in the main character. But the more the narrator learns about Harry, the stronger his sympathy and understanding becomes. "Steppe wolf" - this is how Geller himself called himself, he saw himself lost among the philistinism and civilization, as if he had no place anywhere in this world. He leads a secluded life, practically does not leave the house, sits,surrounded by books, reads all day long, sleeps a lot and sometimes paints in watercolor.
Harry sees two sides to himself, one of which is human and the other is wolf. And at first, the novel "Steppenwolf" is filled with hostility and confrontation between the two sides of Geller's personality. If most of his contemporaries were able to suppress the bestial will and pacify their wolf, then Harry is torn apart by the struggle of such different sides of his personality. He does not want to be tamed, does not want to obey, so he is not able to live on, and more and more often suicidal thoughts arise in his head. In search of truth, he turns to books and classical music, but they do not give him consolation. Frustrated again after meeting the professor, a man seemingly as intelligent as he is, Geller realizes that he also cannot find understanding among people. It is even disgusting for him to listen to this man, imbued with the spirit of intellectual philistinism. Harry had already decided that the steppe wolf had won, and he should say goodbye to the entire bourgeois, scientific and moral world, and, in fact, to life in general. The only problem is the oppressive fear of death.
Harry's life began to take on colors after an unexpected acquaintance with a special person named Hermine. Their relationship cannot be called a romance, but it was truly a kindred spirit. It is she who introduces Geller to nightlife, jazz, introduces people, but in the end, social turmoil gives him awarenessthe fact that he is by no means a steppe wolf, but the most outstanding inhabitant. He, like the rest, is ready to suppress his personality and retract his words without a twinge of conscience. And only in drug intoxication, becoming a killer, erasing the line between dream and reality, he finds the answer…
Hermann Hesse's novel "The Steppenwolf" gives us a topic to reflect on the question of who we really are, gives us the opportunity to make an important decision. This powerful work, based on Hesse's own long-term research, once helped him realize himself…
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