In its format, Demian could be classified as a Bildungsroman, a novel of education, popular in Germany's era of Romanticism. But, by combining with this traditional approach the surrealistic quality of "magical thinking," Hesse has far transcended the typical novel of this type. "Magical thinking" is a term difficult to define and would possibly be best handled by an example. In a short, autobiographical essay, Hesse looked to the future and pictured himself in a jail cell for some act of immorality. In order to pass the time, he began painting a picture on the wall of the cell. (Painting was Hesse's lifelong love.) In the picture, there is a train traveling into a dark tunnel. Hesse imagines himself jumping onboard the train, going through the tunnel, thus escaping his captors. Somehow, this is the essence of his "magical thinking." The combination of traumas of 1916-18 caused Hesse great mental anguish. His rejection by
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This note was uploaded on 12/09/2011 for the course ENG 1310 taught by Professor Pilkington during the Spring '08 term at Texas State.