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MonkeyNotes-Demian by Hermann Hesse
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THEMES

Major

Theme of Crisis and Mental turmoil

We are introduced to this theme from the first chapter when Sinclair is bullied and blackmailed by Franz Kromer. Sinclair goes through a phase of mental torture due to guilt and fear. Sinclair has various dreams and images, which reveal the working of his sub-conscious mind. He is unable to find out the relevance of these. He is often very disturbed.

Theme of Friendship

The friendship between Demian and Sinclair is of much relevance. Demian saves him from torture. Though at times Sinclair feels a dislike for him, he longs for him. At the end of the novel, Demian tells him to look within himself to solve his problems. Of lesser importance is the importance is the friendship of Sinclair with Pistorius and Kuaver.

Co-existence of good and evil

The co-existence of good and evil is a major theme, which runs throughout the novel. The author has tried to show that good and evil exist together. He has done this through symbols and images, which depict this fact. For example sparrow hawk and Abraxas. Also he has shown this by conversation among the characters of the novel.


Minor

Theme of Love

The theme of love has two aspects: parental love and sexual love. Parents love Sinclair. He loves them and wishes to be loved by them. An extension of such love is seen when Sinclair first meets Fran Eva. He refers to her as a "Universal mother," as he receives affection and maternal love from her.

Later, Sinclair feels passionately attracted to Fran Eva. He feels a sensual desire and kisses the objects touched by her. He yearns to take her in his arms. He has dreams that symbolize consummation with her. This is sexual love.

Theme of Platonic relationship

Sinclair sees a pretty, slender, well-behaved young girl. He calls her Beatrice. He is influenced by her, though he never even talks to her. He improves in various ways. His relationship with her is that of a devotee to a sacred shrine or to a statue in a temple.

Theme of Premonition

Sinclair, Demian and Fran Eva have premonitions that something bad is to happen because of certain images, dreams and presentiment. After sometime war breaks out. Demian and Sinclair are wounded and there is severe destruction of people, property and social values.

MOOD

In the beginning of the novel, the mood is that of joy, security and comfort. After that the mood is of fear and confusion, contemplation and also depression which the narrator goes through. The author often performs actions, which he feels guilty about. At the end of the novel, we assume that he attains peace when he is told by Demian that when he has a problem all he has to do is to look within himself.

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