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Demian

by Hermann Hesse  |  Grades: 9-12  |  Ages: 14+ 

Demian by Hermann Hesse Teacher Guide, Lesson Plans, Novel UnitAbout Demian by Hermann Hesse

A brilliant psychological portrait of a troubled young man's quest for self-awareness, this coming-of-age novel reflects the author's preoccupation with the duality of human nature and the pursuit of spiritual fulfillment.

"All I really wanted was to try and live the life that was spontaneously welling up within me. Why was that so very difficult?"

Generations of readers have recognized the impassioned cry that introduces the young narrator of Demian, and embraced this tale of a troubled young man's struggle toward self-awareness. Initially published in Berlin in 1919, the novel met with instant critical acclaim, as well as great popular success among people seeking answers amid the devastating aftermath of World War I.

A brilliant psychological portrait of an individual's departure from social conventions in the search for spiritual fulfillment, Demian encompasses many of the themes associated with Hermann Hesse, its Noble Prize-winning author, particularly the duality of human nature and the quest for inner peace.

Considered an important work in the evolution of 20th-century European literature, this perceptive coming-of-age novel enjoys a particular resonance with young adults, a fact that has made Demian a perennial favorite in schools and colleges all over the world. 

Biographical Notes About Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) was born in Germany and later became a citizen of Switzerland. As a Western man profoundly affected by the mysticism of Eastern thought, he wrote many novels, stories, and essays that bear a vital spiritual force that has captured the imagination and loyalty of many generations of readers. In 1946, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for The Glass Bead Game.

Available Teacher Guides, Lesson Plans, Novel Units, and Activities for Demian by Hermann Hesse: