Demian, Sinclair’s Inner Self
As a child most people grow up with the idea of being connected to an imaginary friend. From a psychological stand point, imaginary friends reveal the child’s fear, anxieties and perceptions; basically, they are a part of the child’s subconscious. Often a child is able to act out repressed feelings or thoughts through their imaginary friend, much like the relationship between Emili Sinclair and Max Demian. After reading Demian, the question arises whether Demian is real or if he is Sinclair’s “imaginary friend”, his subconscious. Looking at it from a Jungian stand point, Demian is not a real character but rather a character of Sinclair’s unconscious realm. Throughout Demian Hesse uses a collection of psychological themes to connect with the themes and style of the novel. Because of this, Hesse is able to create his fictional story but, without his many influences, this would not have been possible. Hesse was influenced by the idea of Eastern Mysticism. This philosophy is composed of the idea that there are constant contrasts in the world. For example, the yin-yang symbol, the small white dot in the black and black dot in the white represents the idea that there is good in bad and vice versa. Along the same lines, another one of Hesse’s influences is Carl Gustav Jung. He is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as by nature religious. Jung is best known for his research on dream analysis and symbolization. Jung’s most famous concept, the collective unconscious, has had a deep influence not only on psychology but also on philosophy and the arts. Though some may argue this, the collective unconscious was not Freud’s personal and repressed theory. With the collective unconscious, it is believed that thought patterns are inherited from the independence of both body and mind. Because he was influenced by these two concepts, Hesse was able to convey the themes of individuation and the duality of the universe...
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