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Steppenwolf Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Steppenwolf.
This section contains 1,196 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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Themes

The Search for a Higher State of Consciousness

In a note to the novel written in 1961, Hesse declared that many readers had failed to understand the message of Steppenwolf. The book was not only about Haller's many miseries and failings. It pointed also to a “second, higher, indestructible world beyond the Steppenwolf . . . a positive, serene, superpersonal and timeless world of faith” (published as the “Author's Note” in the English translation of Steppenwolf). Hesse emphasized that the book was not about despair but belief.

This timeless world is glimpsed on a number of occasions by Haller. Since he is an extremely cultured, refined man, his knowledge and appreciation of the arts has given him moments of serene contemplation in which he is elevated into an eternal realm of the spirit, far above the messy push-and-pull of human life. He describes such moments early in the section of the novel entitled...

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This section contains 1,196 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Steppenwolf Study Guide
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Steppenwolf from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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