Demien Realism Essay, Research Paper
During the course of the novel Demian the author, Hermann Hesse, does create some curiosity in the reader but not much. One instance when Hesse is successful in creating some curiosity is during Emil’s period of being harassed by a local bully named Franz Kromer. During this period the reader wonders how Emil will be able to escape from Kromer’s black mailing and when Max Demian arrives and mysteriously helps out Emil, the reader is left to wonder what did Demian do to discourage Kromer from harassing Emil. Also the reader wonders why Demian would go through the trouble of helping Emil even though he does not know Emil very well. This is mostly all the excitement the book has. True there are some parts where readers could wonder what will happen to the protagonist, like when Emil becomes an alcoholic but how he is knocked out of that spiral is quite contrived. All of a sudden after just seeing a girl in the park Emil is able to completely change his life around. People work hard for years in rehabilitation centers to fight alcoholism and still even after beating it cannot have another drink in their life but Emil sees this one girl in the park and is instantly changed. Also Emil is so completely changed that later on he is capable of having a drink with Demian and still does not go back to his old ways. However this is very unrealistic and goes against common sense completely.
Hermann Hesse does however do an excellent job in foreshadowing the conclusion of the story. In many instances he talks about some inevitable and shattering event that will change the lives of all the characters, namely Emil Sinclair and Max Demian. For example Emil says, I only feel that it (the sparrow hawk) signifies some shattering event that it concerns all of us. (pg.159). And when the final chapter begins the reader does find out that war is probable between Germany and Russia. Also Demian is a lieutenant in the reserve unit of the German army so he will be on the front lines within a week and that Emil is very likely to be drafted. This is a bit of a shock to readers because before this chapter nothing is ever mentioned of Demian being a lieutenant in the army, which also seems a bit too contrived. There were no clues or hints to Demian s ranking in the military or for that matter when he first joins the military.
Though there are parts in this novel that seem a little far from the norm and not much curiosity is created, there is great usage of foreshadowing. However telling a story was not Hesse s main motive in writing this book. Instead he used Emil Sinclair as a means of portraying his own life without actually calling it an autobiographical piece of work.