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 POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)

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PostSubject: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:24 am

Below are some standard discussion questions created by book clubs that have read and studied Hermann Hesse's Demian. Your task will be to respond to at least one of the questions on our forum. When responding, please let us know what prompt you are responding to.


Discussion Questions

1. For the epigraph to his novel, Hesse quoted his protagonist: "I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?" What promptings come from Sinclair's "true self"? Why is it "so very difficult" for him to live in accord with those promptings?

2. What characterizes the two realms that Sinclair identifies at the novel's beginning--the realm of light and the forbidden realm? How do the two realms interact throughout the novel, in terms of Sinclair's experience of them and in terms of what we learn about them? How does Sinclair's relationship to each change?

3. What is Max Demian's relationship with each of the two realms? In what ways does he embody elements of both?

4. Sinclair insists that "my interest centers on the steps that I took to reach myself." What are those "steps"? What specific incidents and stages mark Sinclair's movement from innocent childhood to self-aware adulthood?

5. What is the importance of the biblical story of Cain and the mark of Cain? How would you describe the repeatedly cited "sign" that is so important to Demian and his mother? What endows Sinclair with that sign?

6. What function do Sinclair's dreams serve? How does each relate to the stage of personal development during which it occurs?

7. What is "the dream of the lost paradise" to which Sinclair refers in Chapter 3 ("Among Thieves")? Why does he call it "the worst and most ruthless of dreams"?

8. What are the most important lessons that Sinclair learns from Demian? How do they affect his character and his life? Are all of the lessons learned beneficial? How relevant are they to living in today's world.

9. What is Pistorius's role in Sinclair's progress? What are the similarities and differences between his influence on Sinclair and Demian's influence? Why does Pistorius's influence come to an end while Demian's continues?

10. What is the importance of Sinclair's three paintings of the heraldic bird, "Beatrice," and Frau Eva? What purposes and consequences are associated with each? What is the significance of the fact that they seem to contain opposites (male and female, for example)?

11. What are the implications of Pistorius's statement to Sinclair that "You aren't allowed to be afraid of anything, you can't consider prohibited anything that the soul desires"? How does this reinforce advice received from Demian? Is such a guide for individual behavior workable in everyday life?

12. After his break with Pistorius, Sinclair experiences the "sharp realization" that "each man has his 'function' but none which he can choose himself, define, or perform as he pleases. . . . Each man had only one genuine vocation--to find the way to himself. . . . His task was to discover his own destiny . . . and live it out wholly and resolutely within himself." To what extent is the novel a dramatization of this realization?

13. What are the rewards and costs of discovering one's "own destiny" and living that destiny?

14. What is Frau Eva's role in the novel? Why do Sinclair and we meet her only near the end of the novel, even though she is mentioned much earlier? How would you explain Sinclair's attraction to her?

15. The novel ends with Sinclair looking into "the dark mirror" and beholding his image as "completely resembling" Demian--"my brother, my master." Does this indicate Sinclair's success in achieving a realization of his own self or his ultimate submersion in a more powerful personality?


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phNguyen

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PostSubject: Discussion Questions for Hesse's Demian   Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:35 am

Admin wrote:
11. What are the implications of Pistorius's statement to Sinclair that "You aren't allowed to be afraid of anything, you can't consider prohibited anything that the soul desires"? How does this reinforce advice received from Demian? Is such a guide for individual behavior workable in everyday life?

The implication of Pistorius's statement is that if his soul or his personal unconscousness desires anything truly, Sinclair must make those desires come true. If Sinclair does not do that, he can never go towards his collective unconsciousness. This reinforces Demian's advice for in the chapters two and three of the book, Demian had already told Sinclair not to be a coward. Moreover, Demian told Sinclair that Sinclair has only sensed part of the truth in his current consciousness. If he wants to find the whole truth, he has to dive deeper into himself.
I believe there is no guide for individual behavior workable in everyday life for if the truth is against everyone else's beliefs, the person with the truth might be considered as a mad person and get thrown into an insane asylum.
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PostSubject: Thanks for getting us start   Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:24 pm

Thanks to Phi for getting this thread going. Please notice how he cut and pasted the topic and then replied to it. This is a great way to make the response clearer for everyone out there. Can't wait to hear your reactions to this fascinating novel.

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Mon Oct 02, 2006 3:14 pm

9. What is Pistorius's role in Sinclair's progress? What are the similarities and differences between his influence on Sinclair and Demian's influence? Why does Pistorius's influence come to an end while Demian's continues?

Pistorious seems to be Sinclair's role model, an equivalence of Demian when Sinclair was young. Sinclair was introduced to Pistorious when he heard him play the organ at a church one day. We learn that Pistorious seemed to be the black sheep of his family. Their relationship evolved more when they started a discussion of Abraxas. Sinclair initially heard about Abraxas when he sent Demian an anonymous painting of a bird stuck in a globe. Demain replied with a statement about Abraxas, but he didn't know anything about it. Pistorious explained to Sinclair that Abraxas was both the god and the devil, but only a few people know about it.

Pistorious even told Sinclair that "the things we see are the same things that are within us."(Page 98). They shared the same beliefs and Pistorius would often explain the dreams Sinclair had.

Pistorious and Demian are similar with the fact that Sinclair turned to both of them for advice when they are in need. Both of them seemed to be a great influence in his life and in his understanding of everything around him. Both of them were on Sinclair's mind and he would always refer to them in his thoughts. Like Demian, Pistorious and Sinclair understood each other and could communicate without having to be present. Both Pistorious and Demian knew about Abraxas, but Pistorious differed because he explained to Demian the meaning while Demian just introduced the character of Abraxas. Later on, Sinclair realized that all of the things Pistorious has been telling him had been irrelavant to him. Sinclair even claimed that "All this seemed to me odd and eclectic and not of vital importance"(Page 108). Another difference is that Demian's influence toward Sinclair has remained for a long time, while Pistorious' influence gradually faded away.

Pistorious influence comes to an end because Sinclair felt that all of the meditation and his preoccupation with mysteries and forms of religion are odd and not important to Sinclair. He suddenly felt repugnant towards it and felt Pistorious beliefs were irrelavant.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:43 pm

5. What is the importance of the biblical story of Cain and the mark of Cain? How would you describe the repeatedly cited "sign" that is so important to Demian and his mother? What endows Sinclair with that sign?

The Importance of the story is it shows Max Demian was able to think of it in another perspective. His perspective isn't necessarily an evil perspective but nonetheless a different approach of looking at the story. By questioning the story he causes sinclair for the first time begin to ponder and rethink his religion. Just by doubting and questioning this biblical story causes sinclair to feel one notch more unpure, compared to his sisters.

Another interesting point to this story is how Demian says this sign may not be completely bad, rather more of a distinction. And because people are unused to, and fear that which is not the norm they feel uncomfortable by this "sign" or distinction upon cain. This reminded me of Demian himself, who seem to be distinguished by his peers, he seems older and full of knowledge. Demian seems to in a way wear this "sign" on him which in actuality is no sign but rather a distinction which separates him.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:50 pm

Quote :
12. After his break with Pistorius, Sinclair experiences the "sharp realization" that "each man has his 'function' but none which he can choose himself, define, or perform as he pleases. . . . Each man had only one genuine vocation--to find the way to himself. . . . His task was to discover his own destiny . . . and live it out wholly and resolutely within himself." To what extent is the novel a dramatization of this realization?

The entirety of this novel follows this realization to a great extent. The whole book is following Emil Sinclair's recollection of several events that had built his character and beliefs, so it is easy to see that he had accomplished discovering his own destiny. Throughout the novel, we see Sinclair following his instincts and hoping for things to occur, only to later see them happen or to see him have partial success. In a sense, he is following what his unconscious is directing him to do, and doesn't think much about it, but rather allows it to unfold on its own.

Unlike our previous novel, this book is rather anti-existential, since Sinclair basically has a fate that he is trying to discover for himself, and very little of his future is dictated by himself. In almost every aspect that leads to a large change and development of Sinclair, he is under the guidance of a mentor, whether it is Demian, Pistorius, or Frau Eva. At the same time, this illustrates the importance of will, since it is Sinclair's determination that allows him to reach further into the depths of his soul.

In the end, Sinclair does reach the finale of this realization and finds the Demian inside of himself: what he believes to be the the ideal person. With that, he reached his own destiny: finding his hidden inner strength that was eventually released with the help of Demian.


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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:30 pm

7. What is "the dream of the lost paradise" to which Sinclair refers in Chapter 3 ("Among Thieves")? Why does he call it "the worst and most ruthless of dreams"?

In chapter 3, Sinclair explains how one feels when one is aware of having to make the transition from childhood to adulthood. He understands the difficulty of trying to supress any emotions or desires that develope when one grows up in order to be the same little kid forever. He says that everyone experiences this and that some, in losing touch with their childhood, can never find a secure atmosphere in replacement. When this happens, these certain people try to hold on to their childhoods, the "dreams of the lost paradise" it is a life in which they seek, but can never achieve because with the demands of an adult life, it is impossible to be the same as they were when they were a child.

This is "the worst and most ruthless of dreams" because it is a dream that is unattainable. It causes one to be in pursuit of something that is set and done, therefore causing one to be unable to carry on his or her life and to look towards the future.
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PostSubject: Questions for Demian   Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:52 pm

3. What is Max Demian's relationship with each of the two realms? In what ways does he embody elements of both?

Obviously from the first chapter of the book, we learned that the two realms were light and dark. In the novel, each character has their own light and dark sides that they either bring out in themselves, or are brought out by another character. In Sinclair's case, his light side is his family and the perfect life that his parents had created for him and his two sisters, and the dark side is all of the lies he told to Franz Kromer about stealing apples out of the orchard; he was branded a theif.

Demian also has elements in him from both sides of the realm. The light side of him is revealed through the way that he treats Sinclair. Demian is a mentor to Sinclair who helped him out of his feud with Kromer, and he also advises him on daily life lessons. On the contrary, Demian is a very dark, sneaky character. People around town and in Sinclair's confirmation class all fear Demian, and he has his own mentality about life. He claims to have to ability to know what people are thinking, and can predict people's actions by studying their mannerisms. He also states that only those who are "lazy and comfortable" obey the law. People who want to live life make up their own rules.

I haven't made up my mind yet as to whether Demian is in the light or the dark.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:51 am

2. What characterizes the two realms that Sinclair identifies at the novel's beginning--the realm of light and the forbidden realm? How do the two realms interact throughout the novel, in terms of Sinclair's experience of them and in terms of what we learn about them? How does Sinclair's relationship to each change?


As Sinclair grows and becomes more in touch with himself, he begins to acknowledge the two realms of light and dark that take active part in his life. The realm of light symbolizes his "previous life" including things like his family, his schooling, and his faith. Sinclair's childhood reflects this relam, as he is incredibly close with his family, attends church and believes in biblical stories, and does well in his classes. The realm of darkness is relatively unknown to Sinclair during this time, and he is afraid of its "forbidden" nature.
Sinclair's first encounters with the forbidden realm come with lying to Kromer and his parents. He leaves his safe zone, and enters a new world of cheating and lies. Also, a new view of darkness for Sinclair is experienced when Demian tells him alternate stories about biblical characters. Demian causes Sinclair to question his faith and the merit of the Bible. This is a point in Sinclair's life in which he is just beginning to discover his inner self, and the dark side contained within him.
Another major encounter with Sinclair's forbidden realm occurs later in his youth, when he is at boarding school. He becomes drunk for the first time, and has an intimate conversation with Beck about girls. After waking up and realizing the filthiness of his night and thoughts, Sinclair thinks back to his realm of light, remembering times with his parents and sisters. He thinks about how they would be ashamed, causing the realm of light to be almost like a conscience over Sinclair and his connection with the forbidden realm. Sinclair continues to show characteristics of both realms but explores his forbidden side more as he gets older.
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PostSubject: Demian   Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:54 pm

7. What is "the dream of the lost paradise" to which Sinclair refers in Chapter 3 ("Among Thieves")? Why does he call it "the worst and most ruthless of dreams?

I believe the "dream of the lost paradise" is Sinclair's childhood. In his childhood everything was set out perfectly for him. No money problems, nice place to live, and so on. Now that he's becoming a teenager, his body is making all these changes, he's gotten into trouble with Kromer & the law, & he has Demian whispering alternative thoughts into his head. The boy is just all out of wack. He's confused about which direction to go in to get to where he needs to be. Sinclair refers to the dream as "the worst and most ruthless of dream" because it's a constant reminder of how good it USED TO BE and how it isn't that anymore. Sinclair hints at the fact that once this "paradise" is gone, it's not coming back and those that continue to wait for it are wasting their time.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:15 pm

3. What is Max Demian's relationship with each of the two realms? In what ways does he embody elements of both?

Demian has a strong impact and relationship with both the light and dark realms of Sinclairs life. He emerges as a sort of savior for Sinclair, helping him out with the whole Kromer situation. Sinclair is enlightened by Demian and from him learns how to think for himself and interperet and analyze the world around him. On the other hand, Demian is a very dark mysterious character, that Sinclair and everyone else are intimidated by. He lives by his own rules and thinks outside of the box. He brings Sinclair to become conciouss of the dark world, rather then the righteous. And i dont think there is anything wrong with that at all.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:30 am

1. For the epigraph to his novel, Hesse quoted his protagonist: "I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?" What promptings come from Sinclair's "true self"? Why is it "so very difficult" for him to live in accord with those promptings?

Emil Sinclair wanted to follow the desires that arises from his true self instead of constricting those wishes by staying inside one realm, or obeying Confirmation classes, or going to bars and avoiding the world. Sinclair needs to learn to find the collective unconscious within himself, and he needs to be aware of his own “sign” that marks him differently from the rest of the world. It is “so very difficult” for Sinclair to live in accord with these promptings because these promptings, these desires, deal with an unfamiliar territory for him and they mean stepping into the other side of the world which requires confrontation and acknowledgement of the unknown. Sinclair also needs to break away from the norm of society, away from the collective actions of men who do not think for themselves, who follow out the rules of society, which is also a difficulty for him. Sinclair in a way is afraid of his own desires and that keeps him from living completely within himself embodying everyone he loves until he slowly learns to follow those desires which lead himself to his inner true self.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:54 am

#6 Alright, well basically Sinclair's dreams are what define him throughout the novel for only in his dreams does he recognize what he does not in his concscious self. While awake he is troubled and battles with his feelings and attempts to tame them yet in his dreams he has epiphanies regarding Demian, Eva, and himself. It is not that simple, because he doesn't merely see the truth in his sleep. He gains that knowledge by sharing his dreams with Eva, and sometimes Demian, because the truth is more than one persons side of a story. Eva and Demians opinions and interpretations help Sinclair recognize and utilize his dreams in his real life and without his dreams, Sinclair would be lost.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:54 pm

7. What is "the dream of the lost paradise" to which Sinclair refers in Chapter 3 ("Among Thieves")? Why does he call it "the worst and most ruthless of dreams"?

In Chapter 3, Sinclair is going through a stage in his life where he is very confused and feels as though he cannot find his true self. When he refers to "the dream of the lost paradise," he is of course speaking of his childhood. It had not been long before this that he was living the carefree, happy-go-lucky lifestyle, almost like the lifestyle they live in Leave It To Beaver. But now all of a sudden things have changed, and he doesn't know how to initially react. Every individual goes through a transition period sometime in their life between childhood and adulthood. No matter how hard a person may try to hold onto their younger years, they always seem to slip away. He calls this "the worst and most ruthless of dreams" because he knows that every person can relate to this feeling of the remembrance of how good life used to be.
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PostSubject: response to question 14   Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:17 pm

14. What is Frau Eva's role in the novel? Why do Sinclair and we meet her only near the end of the novel, even though she is mentioned much earlier? How would you explain Sinclair's attraction to her?

I believe Frau Eva's role in the novel is to further show how in love sinclair is with demian and a way for sinclair to bring out his anima side with a woman even though he is really in love with a man. I believe we see frau eva later in the novel because this is the turning point in sinclairs life, when he is changing and obviously discovering he is gay. Also i think that he is living with her and pretending to be in love with her because to him she is the female version of demian which allows him to stay hidden with his sexual preference but still have demian in some way. Sinlcair is attracted to Frau Eva because she exudes demian through her and she is a symbol of demian on his anima side
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:42 pm

5. What is the importance of the biblical story of Cain and the mark of Cain? How would you describe the repeatedly cited "sign" that is so important to Demian and his mother? What endows Sinclair with that sign?

In my opinion, the biblical story of Cain is the starting point of Sinclair's journey to his selfhood. It is the first instance in which Sinclair is exposed to the idea of the "sign". The "sign" to Demain and his mother symbolize individuality, the ability of a person to lead his own life by his own way. They believe that sooner or later the social institution in which they live in will colaspe. Those with the sign are responsible to create a new way of life. Sinclair is endowed with such a sign. He is able to recognize his own self and follow his own beliefs. As Sinclair become more and more self aware, he is no longer bound by the realm of light nor the realm of darkness, the two world he starts out in the beginning of the novel. He lives in a different world. One in which he is the creator.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:23 pm

9. What is Pistorius's role in Sinclair's progress? What are the similarities and differences between his influence on Sinclair and Demian's influence? Why does Pistorius's influence come to an end while Demian's continues?

Pistorius is a second mentor to Sinclair, although he is similar and different than Demian. Pistorius shares many of the same ideas and views that Sinclair just started developing, so Sinclair looks to Pistorius for guidance and wisdom in the middle stages of his intellectual development. Once Sinclair realizes that Pistorius really doesn't act on his philosophy, Sinclair loses respect and reverence for him. Demian lived the life that he believed in, and that is why he continues to remain a mentor to Sinclair, whereas Pistorius only talked about living a true and individuated life, and Sinclair eventually got tired of listening and wanted to take action.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:01 pm

2. What characterizes the two realms that Sinclair identifies at the novel's beginning--the realm of light and the forbidden realm? How do the two realms interact throughout the novel, in terms of Sinclair's experience of them and in terms of what we learn about them? How does Sinclair's relationship to each change?

Through his first encounters with Max Demian, Sinclair begins to notice the two realms of light; the realm of light and all that is good ant the dark realm of the forbidden and myserious. His observation of Demian makes him curious about what is outside the light realm in which he lives and he begins to question the accepted views of "right" and "wrong". Sinclair slowly shifts into the dark realm as he gets older and his behavior and mindset are noticeably changed. He begins to pursue what he really feels in the dark realm rather than what he is supposed to feel in the light and as a result he gets drunk and gets into more trouble. As the novel progresses, it seems that he prefers the darker lifestyle and is less afraid of going against the morals of the light realm to please his senses. By the end of the novel, Sinclair's views on light and dark are almost reversed and are seemingly meshed together so that what may be the dark realm seems much more like the light realm to him.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:36 pm


2. What characterizes the two realms that Sinclair identifies at the novel's beginning--the realm of light and the forbidden realm? How do the two realms interact throughout the novel, in terms of Sinclair's experience of them and in terms of what we learn about them? How does Sinclair's relationship to each change?


The realm of light is a holy zone without a shadow is sight. Everything shines in bright clear white light. In this realm there is no sin, no worries, no troubles, and apparently no adventure. The dark realm is its utter and complete opposite. The dark realm is dark and muggy; where the low lives live and perform there dirty, lust driven actions. Unfortunately for Sinclair he has a hard time finding balance between the worlds. He always feels he is r completely enveloped by either one or the other. At the beginning novel Sinclair feels he belongs to the realm of light along with his parents, but as soon as he has a run in with Franz Komer. At this point he feels has committed a terrible villainy and will never be able to leave the forbidden realm. As the novel continuous Sinclair flip flops betweens the black and white dimension constantly. He goes from blackmail to freedom to drinking and lastly to Beatrice. He only stops this cycle after learning about Abraxas, the god of light and dark. Only then does he notice that he can live in both worlds simultaneously. Even though he realizes that both worlds are very different, he knows that they are not as simple as good and evil. He learns to stop struggling trying to fit in one or the other but to merely just go with the flow and not worry about exactly where he stands.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:06 pm

2. What characterizes the two realms that Sinclair identifies at the novel's beginning--the realm of light and the forbidden realm? How do the two realms interact throughout the novel, in terms of Sinclair's experience of them and in terms of what we learn about them? How does Sinclair's relationship to each change?

In the beginning of the story, the two realms can be characterized as simply his home and school. The forbidden realm is his school while the light realm is his home. His encounters with Kromer make his school the forbidden realm. One example of this is when Sinclair lies about a story just to try and impress the other students. The consequences for this action causes him a lot of hardship and anxiety when he is around Kromer. His house is the opposite realm because he feels more comfortable at home. When he is at home, he feels more secure and does not worry as much about Kromer as he does when he is at school. When Sinclair meets Demian, his whole perspective on the two realms change. He learns that it is all right to accept certain things from the forbidden realms even though they may be seen as evil. This is evident when Demian shares his interpretation of the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. His fascination only increases when he learns about Abraxas, a god who combines elements from both the good and evil sides. By the end of the novel, Sinclair shows that he has become more accepting to the "dark" side.
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PostSubject: #7   Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:59 pm

7. What is "the dream of the lost paradise" to which Sinclair refers in Chapter 3 ("Among Thieves")? Why does he call it "the worst and most ruthless of dreams"?

I believe that “the dream of the lost paradise” is Sinclair’s feelings about losing his childhood and becoming an adult. He’s afraid that his worry-free childhood is about to end and he will have to become a responsible adult. Sinclair is stuck between acting like a kid and knowing that he is an adult. He believes that everyone goes through this transition, and everyone tries hard to hold on to their childhood memories. Sinclair believes that this is “the worst and most ruthless of dreams” because people are always looking in the past. They are constantly reflecting on how good their childhood was instead of looking forward to the future. He believes this “dream” is extremely cruel because no one can escape the transformation from childhood to adulthood.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:23 pm

8. What are the most important lessons that Sinclair learns from Demian? How do they affect his character and his life? Are all of the lessons learned beneficial? How relevant are they to living in today's world.

I think the most important lessons sinclair learns is that he should be more of himself and just questions things. Nad he becomes more mature and aware of things thanks to that. I think they are benificial - i'd like to be as confident and more satiified like him. ANd with living in today's world - you need to be more strong and more independent if you want to make it today.
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PostSubject: Discussion questions for Demian   Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:54 pm

6. What function do Sinclair's dreams serve? How does each relate to the stage of personal development during which it occurs?

Sinclair's dreams reveal his deepest desires. When he was forced to give money to Kromer, he dreamed that his family and him were drifting in a boat and surrounded by peace. The sense of protection was what he wanted the most when he was introduced to the world of darkness, he wanted to go back to the world of light and purity. He was at the stage of denial, and he refused to accept the evil part of the two realms. His dreams also serve as sources of guidance to individuation. At the end, he dreamed that the world was in turmoil and he was waiting to be choosen by Eva. He finally realized his own purpose in this world, and Eva was suppose to guide him to the right path and fulfill his destiny.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:07 pm

2. What characterizes the two realms that Sinclair identifies at the novel's beginning--the realm of light and the forbidden realm? How do the two realms interact throughout the novel, in terms of Sinclair's experience of them and in terms of what we learn about them? How does Sinclair's relationship to each change?

Sinclair experiences a great distinction between light and dark in the beginning of the novel through a visual example in his own home. This introduction is a comparison between the good angelic life his family leads, and the lives of hidden sin his servants practice. Later in the novel, he himself slips into both of these realms, most noticably during the presence and absence of Demian in his life. It seems as though Demian acts as a vessel to his enlightenment that returns him to the light and good in life. While away from Demian's influence, he falls into spouts of drinking and strays from the path of the good. Truly, I see Demian to be the major influence on Sinclair's life in all ways.
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Registration date : 2006-09-10

PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:00 pm

9. What is Pistorius's role in Sinclair's progress? What are the similarities and differences between his influence on Sinclair and Demian's influence? Why does Pistorius's influence come to an end while Demain's continues?

Pistorius was not so much the mentor, but the decipher. Sinclair came to him with his dreams and questions which Pistorius was able to interpret and explain but his knowledge never grew or surpassed that of Sinclair. Emil appeared to use Pistorius almost like a mirror. He bounced ideas of off his organ friend so that they could be seen in a different light and he learned more from them. Pistorius knew what Sinclair's dreams were about but he could never fully understand what they actually meant.

Unlike Demian, Pistorius could only provide an explanation to Sinclair's questions. He could not instigate greater thought in Sinclair's developing mind. As a result, Pistorius's influence ended when Sinclair realized that Pistorius could seemingly point him in the right direction but he would never be able to complete what Sinclair was set out to do.
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