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

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EmilyN

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:24 pm

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

The importance of Sinclair's three paintings is his own artistic expression of his thoughts, that otherwise would be difficult to express with words. The picture of the bird, I thought, was a metaphor for Sinclair himself. He is determined and ready to break out of his shell, his sheltered life, and experience the brunt of the real world. The importance of "Beatrice" is her influence on his life. The picture almost completely changes Sinclair to realize that there is more to life. Beatrice hold a certain truth for Sinclair to set off again in finding himself. Frau Eva represents Sinclair's acceptance of the power and timelessness of an individuated person. She is who he strives to be and to be with. The significance of her picture is how she is both feminine and masculine, and somehow herappearance makes her a powerful character.
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NataliaJones

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:04 pm

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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, Demian questions many key parts of the Bible by telling his different perspectives to Sinclair, shattering the religious stronghold that Sinclair knew of all his life. As he goes through confirmation and religious classes, he starts to question the very paradise that he had been raised in. His parents were strong Catholics, and raised their children in the paradise and light that came with religiousness and spirituality. The joy and happiness he had known in that home mainly resulted in the upbringing of his parents and their teachings, in the idea of being forgiven, the return of the prodigal son.

Now he is planning to go to prep school, away from his parentsí care, away from their ideals, their pre-made world of light. With new ideas that shattered his base, and without the familiarity of a world that is now cut off from him, Sinclair will lose his treasured paradise and instead fall victim to new ideals, spiritualities and ways of thinking. Therefore bringing new and different kinds of paradise of the darker side of the world. Perhaps it is that new paradise that is his worst and most ruthless of dreams because of the destructing impact his new lifestyle and dreamworld have upon him.
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cmahlberg4



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:09 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 light and dark realms change for Sinclair throughout the novel. In the beginning, Sinclair thinks his family and their home is the light realm and almost everything else is evil. As Sinclair gets older, his perception of the light realm changes. He learns that that the world can be either light or dark depending on how he wants it to be. After he sees Beatrice and decides to stop drinking he proves to himself that he can choose light, dark or both. When Sinclair finds out about Abraxas he believes that good and evil must coexist in the world. This is an example of Jung's emphasis on yin/yang and the impact he had on Hesse's writing.
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ctreffinger



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:51 pm

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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?

Demian introduces to Sinclair a different interpretation of the story of Cain and Abel. Demian sees the mark of Cain as more of a noticeable distinction than a mark of shame, which is how the teacher describes it. He even hints at the mark representing superiority. In school, Demian particularly stands out among the other students, as if he were bearing a similar distinctive mark. Throughout the novel, Sinclar is viewed as being different as well. Demian clearly sees this in Sinclair and sees him as being superior to the others.

Additionally, when Sinclar hears Demian's version of the story of Cain, it is the first occasion on which Sinclair realizes that his beliefs (especially religious) may not be set in stone or even correct. Demian teaches Sinclair to question himself and his surroundings. This begins Sinclair's process of individuation.
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Marielle66

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:56 pm

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

Both Sinclair and Demian are in relationship with the two realms, which are the dark and light. According to Carl Jung, the dark realm would represent the Shadow and the light realm would represent Self. Demian shows his Seld and his light side when he serves as a mentor for Sinclair. Even though a bit different, Demian is nice and he is the one that comes up to Sinclair and starts their friendship. On the other side, Demian also has a Shadow and a dark side. He shows this side when talking about Kromer and how it might be a possibility to even kill him if necessary. He also shows his dark side when he gives his point of view of Cain in the biblical story, explaining that Cain is not that bad after all, even though he commited murder. Demian also states that he analyzes people and can eventually know what they are thinking, that's a little mysterious and might belong to his light side, but it can also fit in his dark side.
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Edunn116



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:34 pm

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?

Frau Evas role wasnt a main one but i feel it was an important one. I think she represented the more femine side of Demian. Earlier in the novel Sinclair wasnt so sure of his feelings towards Demian so the importance or symbol of Frau Eva wasn't necessary. Sinclair grew so obsessed with Demian he sort of began to fall in love with him which i believe is why he had an attraction to Frau Eva.
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melissac1

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:42 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?


Frau Eva reinforces Demian's influence on Sinclair. She provides a haven from the outside reality that doesn't understand their logic. Sinclair turns to her as a guide (both directly and indirectly) through his process of individuation. The timing is intentional because Sinclair (through the majority of the novel) isn't mature enough to "deserve" her, as Frau Eva states. Sinclair's affinity for her is deeper through his personal unconscious as he has visions of her before ever interacting with her. Her physical beauty is secondary to her coexistence between light and dark.
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AnnaL



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:31 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 expose his unconscious thoughts, especially his deepest desires. The feelings he is constantly trying to supress keep haunting him in his dreams. Sinclair's deepest desire is to become free, independent, and break free from conformity. Frau Eva keeps on appearing in his dreams, indicating that he must find her so that she can guide him on his path to freedom.

At first, Sinclair chooses to ignore his dreams which causes him to become miserable and depressed. He realizes that by supressing his dreams and not bothering to try to interpret them, he becomes lost, unable to find his inner self. Analyzing his dreams gives him guidance as to what kind of role he is suppossed to fullfill in the world. After Sinclair finds Frau Eva, he has greater confidence in his dreams and in himslef. His dreams are a guide to individuation.
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the_huffanator

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:49 pm

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?

The ending of this novel was a bit out of the ordinary in my opinion. I believe he does achieve a full sense of independance away from Demian and Eva and he does achieve a realization of his own self.

He no longer needs Demian to stand up for him or act for him etc. He now has himself and a free mind, not scared of anything or anyone.

He sees Demian in himself because he now knows he is as powerful as Demian and is now his own master.

Great ending but i thought the kiss was a little weird.
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ANunn1



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:44 pm

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

Max Demian has a profound impact on the light and dark realms of Sinclair and is even the primary architect of the dark side. Before Demian's entrance into the story Sinclair's dark side is practically nonexistant and it takes Demian to bring it out. The first signs of the dark side come out in the lies he tells Kromer and subsequent trouble he gets himself into for stealing apples. Demian furthur builds the dark side of Sinclair by showing him the dark side of the story of Cain and just being somewhat mean and mysterious in general.
Sinclair's light side revolves around his christian beliefs and traditional family life. This side is also influenced by Demian in that he gives him alot of advice, good or bad, on how to conduct himself in everyday life. He also steers him back into his lighter side from the controversy with Kromer where after Demian's confrontation with Kromer he does not bother Sinclair about the money for the apples any longer. Although this may be a slightly unconventional way of solving Sinclair's problems it balances his light and dark sides for the time being. Demian is seen as solely a dark character where after examination it can be seen he contributed heavily to both sides.
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andrewh



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:06 pm

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

The functions of Sinclairís dreams are to reveal his most inner desires. Each dream related to the stage of his personal development such as him being bullied by Kromer, where he has to pay him off, he dreamed that his family and him were drifting on a boat that was surrounded by peace. This sense of protection allowed him to feel safe when he was introduced to the other side of the world, the dark side. He wanted to go back to the world that was pure and light. His dreams not only revealed his inner desires but was a guiding point to his individuation. In the end, he dreamed as if the world was in turmoil where he was taken by Eva and he finally realized his purpose in life and in the work. And where Eva was suppose to act as guidance to the right path and to be able to fulfill his destiny.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:36 pm

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?

Throughout the novel, Sinclair has shown to readers his difficult and almost never ending process of individuation. When Sinclair looks into "the dark mirror," it signifies the ending of his long search, the search for his true self. "The dark mirror" represents the darker realm which was first mentioned in the beginning of the novel. While looking through this dark mirror, Sinclair seems to no longer be frightened because he has finally attained his selfhood. Though he completely resembles Demian, Sinclair is still an individual. Demian, being his very first mentor, helped to begin his process individuation which is the reasoning behind the resemblance. Sinclair achieves a realization of his own self and simply relates himself to Demian, whom has done the same thing.
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Gina44



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:48 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?

Sinclair identifies the realm of light and the forbidden realm at the beginning of the novel. His childhood was surrounded around the ideals of the realm of light. He was faithful, family oriented, and an overall good student. As Demian is introduced into the story, as well as the story of Cain, Sinclair begins to slip into the forbidden realm. As he grows older, he begins drinking , sinning, and questioning his faith. While trying to remain in touch with himself, he reaches out to the realm of light but still manages to live/prefer the lifestyle in which the forbidden realm is incorporated.
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julie_m1



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:46 am

3. Max Demian has a relationship with both the light and dark world because he is the embodiment of the yin yang symbol. He is good in that he truly wants to help Sinclair, which is evident when he saves him from his childhood bully. On the other hand, he is bad because he intentionally stirs up trouble for Sinclair and forces him to abandon the world he is accustomed to. Demian is the strongest believer in the relationship between the light and dark world because he belongs to both. This is why he believes in the god Abraxas and the alternate Cain and Abel story. His actions and thoughts speak to the cliche, "You cannot know good without bad, or bad without good." He could be belong to neither world, or he could belong to both, but he cannot belong to just one.
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Monika

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:45 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's role is that of a mentor to Sinclair. He taught Sinclair about Abraxas and the whole dream world. Sinclair actually learned more to trust in himself by hearing of the things he already knew from another source. This is similar to when children learn about, for example, colors, in that they already know that there are different colors and what they are, basically but they learn what they are called or how they are made. From Pistorius, Sinclair learned the technicalities of the things he basically already knew.

Demian was also a mentor to Sinclair, however Demian was more of a friend and someone Sinclair could love and yearn for. Age-wise they were more on the same level. Also, Demian and Sinclair had a much more intense connection than that between Pistorius and Sinclair. This is also why Pistorius's influence died out after one fight whereas Demian was not around for years and years while still being a great impact on Sinclair's life.

Another thing I was just thinking about is how Pistorius always wanted to be a priest and for some reason couldn't be. It was kind of unclear why but I believe it had to do with that it just wasn't in his destiny. I found this strange mostly because while reading about Pistorius he seemed very very priest-like, and had the influence of a sort of priest on Sinclair, showing him all these things about the religion of Abraxas, sort of guiding him to meditate in front of the fire and analyzing his dreams. So basically, I assumed, before reading about the fight between Pistorius and Sinclair, that Pistorius was a sort of priest of the religion that believes in Abraxas.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:32 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 mark of Cain is seen as sign that separates someone from the majority. The relationship between Demian and his mother is therefore unique. Since the beginning of the novel, there had been continuous gossiping about the relationship. Everytime there is something vague or unique happening to a character in the novel, the mark of Cain had been mentioned. When Sinclair first meets Demain, he is like all the other family, a complete follower, but when he meets Demain, he begins to think about religion with a whole new perspective, endowing Sinclair with the sign.
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chelseac89



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:38 pm

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

In the novel Demian, the idea of two different life styles, both good and evil is abundant in every aspect of the reading. In Sinclair's case he is torn between the light side, consisting of his family and traditional values, and the dark side, which primarily consists of theivery, misbehavior, and a drive to break the rules.
Demian's light and dark side are extremely apparent when he is with Sinclair. On one hand, when he is with Sinclair he is always going out of his way to give him advice, and try and direct him to the right path in life, sort of an older brother figure. However, in the beginning of the book Demian helps Emil expirience the dark side. Before Max Sinclair's dark side was completely and utterly nonexistent. Slowly but surely, with Max appearing more and more often, you start to see the darker side of Sinclair emerge.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:08 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 two realms of light represents Sinclair's home, and everywhere beyond it would be considered the realm of darkness. Early on in the novel Sinclair is pursued by Kromer and he feels unsafe when he is outside because he does not know the domain in which he resides. Finally when he gets to his house he realizes that he is safe and that no one can hurt him there. But there is one time where Kromer actually disrupts the peace, he once follows Sinclair all the way home and actually enters it, tainting his sanctuary. Kromer affects the way Sinclair views his home early on in the novel, but eventually Demian rids Sinclair of his problem and his home is once again cleansed.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:03 pm

Quote :
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 mark of Cain plays an extremely large role in Sinclair's "coming of age." Demian's explanation of the mark, as a mark of distinction is his first lesson to young Sinclair. Becauase of Sinclair's faint mark, both Demian and Frau Eva look at the small Sinclair as someone superior to them. In this way, because of Sinclair's own mark, he is looked at with Awe. By attacking the original, or "taught" moral, Sinclair begins to look to Demian, and reevaluate behavior in general.
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ANunn1



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:14 pm

Hedda is definitely one of a kind. Although I am confused as to exactly what that kind is on the inside for Hedda. Her multiple personalities that arise depending on who she is talking to give a me a mixed feeling about who she really is. Her capability to change from a cold hearted manipulator to a warmer person in an instant leads me to believe that she is ultimately a softer person on the inside that brings out the bad to establish her authority. Exactly why she acts in this way is still unclear to me at this point in the story, but I'm sure more of her personality will be exposed as the play progresses.
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cathycal8



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:41 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?

There are many symbols in the novel, one of which is the mark of Cain. In the novel the mark of Cain serves as a symbol of distinction. It it important in Emilís development because in the beginning of the novel Emil sees the mark of Cain as something of comfort told to him through biblical meanings. However, Demian (later on in the novel) sees the mark of Cain in another way other than a biblical mark. Demian tells Emil that he has a mark that distinguishes him from others. Usually this mark is not visible. Demian interprets the mark of Cain as something that shows Cainís superiority which realtes to Emil because Demian interprets Emilís mark as something that shows he is special.
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mrose



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PostSubject: Number 3   Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:55 pm

From the outside, Max Demian looks older, mature, and bliss, showing his involvement with the two different realms. His involvement of the two realms is one of knowing the dark and light ways but using all of this for good. For example, when he helps Sinclair with Franz Kromer and with the teacher when Emil didn't want to be noticed, Max was using the realms for good.
Max's different perspective on the Cain and Able bible story emphasizes Demian's relationship with the realms. To the common, ordinary outsiders, Cain seems evil and murderous, but to Max, Cain simply bore a sign, which frightened people causing the ones afraid to pin the story of killing Abel on him. Max is like Cain. To outsiders, Max seems older and more frightening, but to close friends like Emil, Demian is simply using dark "magic" to do good and carry out his life.
In the later half of the book, Demian seems to be more in the center of the realms because he becomes a lieutenant in World War I. This is a signifcant job during a life changing and realm altering event.
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emramos



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:26 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?


There are two definate realms that surround Sinclair. There is the light realm full of innocence and purity and this is the realm that sinclair starts out in. It is the world he has with his sisters and the reat of his family. However this goodness is countered by the second realm, the darker side of Sincalir that is brought out by other people, first with Franz Kromer and then with Demian. It began with the apple incident with Franz Kromer where we find Sinclair capable of stealing and lying. It is then furthered with the introduction of Demian who makes Sinclair think beyond the basics that he is taught. However, the light side is always in the back of the picture, it is like a security blanket for sinclair that he can return to when he wants.
When Demian gives his thoughts on the story of Cain, Sinclair begins to think more about his shadow realm. Demian changes the direct interpretation of the story exclaiming that maybe Cain was not the evil one maybe his killing of Able was justified and murder for that matter can be justified. Sinclairs teachings created his first realm of light and good and Kromer brought out the 2nd realm with Demian leading the way to the darker side of Sincalir. The two realms exist for Sinclair. They are the Yin and Yang that is his world and as the reader we get to see him vacilate from each.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:36 pm

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

Sinclair originally tries to ignore his dreams and ends up in a state of depression. Pistorius informs him that he needs to listen to his dreams and creative imagination so he can reach the lost and neglected parts of his inner self and reintegrate them. Sinclair receives knowledge and insight from his dreams and eventually gets guidance from them.
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cathyP



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Discussion Questions for Demian (closes 10/13)   Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:09 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 biblical story of Cain is that it is used to emphasize individuation. Demian perceives the story of Cain and Abel unlike the traditional view. Demian believes that Cain does not receive the mark because he is evil, but because he is avenged upon because others fear him. This shows Demian's ability to think for himself and not just rely on what society believes or thinks.

I believe that the "sign" represents individualism. The bearers of the "sign" are those who do not follow what most of the majority believe in and value, but follow their own path and make their own decisions on what they want to believe.

Sinclair is endowed with this "sign" because he does not settle for conformity. As a child, his parents taught him traditional beliefs and societal expectations. Though as he grows older, with the guidance of Demian, Sinclair learns not to follow society's beliefs and expectations but to think for himself and ultimately attain individuation
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