Originally published in 1919 under the pseudonym of the narrator of the story, Herman Hesse's "Demian" is the coming of age story of its principal character "Emil Sinclair." The struggle of Emil is one of self-awareness. A principal theme that courses through the novel is that of the inherent duality of existence. In the case of Emil this duality presents itself in the form of the opposing demands of the external world and his one internal quest for spiritual fulfillment. Emil's quest to resolve this conflict forces him to seek out the guidance and validation from the elders of his world including his mother Eva, Pistorius, an organist at a local church, and ultimately Max Demian, a childhood friend who leads Emil to his eventual self-realization. Given its subject matter, "Demian" is a popular choice for young readers, one that explores the interesting psychological underpinnings of growing up.
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