Siddhartha Criticism

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After the 1904 publication of Peter Camenzind, Hermann Hesse's following grew with each subsequent book and began a popularity that rose and fell dramatically, as it still seems to continue to do. German readers felt comfortable with his traditional stories and poetry, and by 1914, when World War I broke out, he had become a pleasant reading habit. The tide changed with his wartime essays, which disparaged militarism and nationalism and censured Germany. Hesse was quickly reduced to an undesirable draft dodger and traitor. In the sociopolitically chaotic postwar years, the tide turned back. The apotheosizing of the individual and the apolitical gospel of self-knowledge and self-realization presented in Demian (published in 1919) struck a respondent chord in German youth, for whom Hesse became their idol and Demian their bible. But youth's exaltation was short-lived; spreading communism on one hand and budding National Socialism on the other proved to be too...

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This section contains 738 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Siddhartha Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Siddhartha from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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