It was established early that Hesse would become a theological student. While showing intellectual promise as a student, young Hesse disliked school, especially the rigidity and the stifling of creativity of the German educational system of his time. His grades were never outstanding, and he disliked his teachers. He once stated that he had had only one teacher whom he liked. His reaction to this oppressive atmosphere is also reflected in his writings, especially in the bitter attack in Unterm Rad (Beneath the Wheel). By the age of thirteen, Hesse had decided that he was going to be a poet. Great stress caused him to flee the Maulbronn Seminary, the setting of Mariabronn in Narcissus and Goldmund. He became so despondent that he considered suicide and purchased a pistol.
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