Hermann Hesse Writing Styles in Steppenwolf

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The novel is told on two levels, the realistic and the surreal. The bourgeois narrator's preface and the first part of “Harry Haller's Records” gives the reader a realistic picture of Haller's life. But when Haller is given the book, “Treatise on the Steppenwolf,” a surreal element enters the novel, since from a realistic point of view, it is impossible for Haller suddenly to acquire a book written in this expository style which analyzes his own personality. Haller's dream of Goethe and his encounter with Mozart are other surreal events, as is the entire episode of the magic theater.

In Haller's encounter with Hermine, the realistic and the surreal levels are intertwined (although symbolic rather than surreal might be a better term in this context). At one level, Hermine is a shrewd courtesan who knows how to handle a new client; at another level, she is...

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This section contains 537 words
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