Demian Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 51 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Demian.
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The central theme of Demian is the process of discovering a deep, true, inner self. The novel opens with a statement set off from the rest of the text: "I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?" The novel then traces the difficult task of finding this true self in the face of societal pressures to conform. Sinclair encounters many obstacles in his quest for personal identity, including family, religion, and school. Demian is a significant early influence on Sinclair because he is the first person in Sinclair's life to invite a questioning attitude toward generally accepted ideas, such as the interpretation of certain biblical stories. When Sinclair is sent to boarding school, he loses touch with Demian, and, symbolically, with his inner self...

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This section contains 505 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Demian Study Guide
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Demian from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.