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Course Hero. "Steppenwolf Study Guide." Course Hero. 22 Mar. 2018. Web. 20 Nov. 2018. <>.

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Course Hero. (2018, March 22). Steppenwolf Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 20, 2018, from

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(Course Hero, 2018)



Course Hero. "Steppenwolf Study Guide." March 22, 2018. Accessed November 20, 2018.


Course Hero, "Steppenwolf Study Guide," March 22, 2018, accessed November 20, 2018,

Steppenwolf | Section Summaries

See Section Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • 1920s, likely Germany

    Harry Haller rents a room in a middle-class boarding house run by a kindly older woman.

  • In a dark alley one night

    Haller sees a sign for the Magic Theater and tries to open the door beneath the sign, but he cannot.

    Section 1
  • Later that night

    A stranger gives Haller the "Treatise on the Steppenwolf," a book about his own personality.

    Section 1
  • Soon after that

    Haller has an awkward dinner with the professor and his wife. He insults her picture of Goethe.

    Section 3
  • That night

    Haller goes to a bar to avoid going home and killing himself. He meets Hermine, who looks after him.

    Section 4
  • Not long after

    Haller falls asleep at the bar and dreams of Goethe, who says he takes life too seriously.

    Section 4
  • The next Tuesday

    Haller goes on a date with Hermine, who says he will fall in love with her but will one day kill her.

    Section 5
  • In the following days

    Hermine makes Haller buy a gramophone and learn to dance.

    Section 5
  • Soon thereafter

    Haller meets Maria and Pablo. His old personality starts to fall apart. He experiments with drugs.

    Section 6
  • A few days later

    Hermine sends Maria to Haller's bedroom, where she becomes his lover.

    Section 7
  • Three weeks later

    Haller goes to the Fancy Dress Ball, finds Hermine in hell, and reaches ecstatic joy through music.

    Section 8
  • Very late that night

    Pablo invites Haller to his Magic Theater, for madmen. The price of admittance is Haller's mind.

    Section 8
  • In the Magic Theater

    Haller and Gustav kill passersby in automobiles during a war between man and machines.

    Section 9
  • In the second room

    A chess player teaches Haller to build up his personality with the various pieces of his self.

    Section 10
  • In the third room

    Haller sees first the Steppenwolf and then his own double subjugate and commands the other.

    Section 11
  • In the fourth room

    Haller relives every love affair in his life; each turns out wonderfully this time.

    Section 12
  • In the last room

    Haller "kills" Hermine in the Magic Theater after finding her asleep and naked with Pablo.

    Section 13
  • After that

    Mozart and other immortals sentence Haller to eternal life and laugh heartily at his folly.

    Section 13
  • Moments later

    Haller resolves to become a better player at the game of life and to learn to laugh.

    Section 13
  • After Haller leaves town

    Narrator publishes and gives background information on Harry Haller's Records.


Section Summaries Chart

Section Summary
Author's Note—1961 Hesse writes that poetic writing has many interpretations and may often be misunderstood, but that even misunderstanding... Read More
Preface The preface is written by an outside narrator, who lives in a boarding house with his aunt, the landlady. Haller boarded... Read More
Section 1 Haller opens his journal, Harry Haller's Records, with a description of his pleasant day, a "tolerable" series of unexci... Read More
Section 2 As Haller reads the "Treatise on the Steppenwolf," he is amazed to discover it is an analysis of his own personality. Th... Read More
Section 3 After reading the treatise, Haller compares it with a self-pitying poem he once wrote about the Steppenwolf, and finds t... Read More
Section 4 After resolving to kill himself that night, Haller miserably wanders the streets once more, having a drink at a bar and ... Read More
Section 5 Haller obsesses about his upcoming meeting with the girl and whether she will show up. The importance of their meeting w... Read More
Section 6 At the Balance Hotel Hermine makes Haller dance with her a few times then introduces him to Pablo, a young, handsome sax... Read More
Section 7 As the "new young Haller" emerges, the old Haller begins "a death struggle," with frequent thoughts of suicide interrupt... Read More
Section 8 Haller sleeps the day away and wakes up to realize the ball starts in an hour. He decides to arrive late, as Hermine has... Read More
Section 9 Pablo takes Haller and Hermine to a small room upstairs, where they rest before entering the Magic Theater. Haller is di... Read More
Section 10 Back in the corridor of the Magic Theater, an excited Haller reads more door inscriptions and makes another choice: "GUI... Read More
Section 11 Haller is next enticed by a flashy poster that advertises "MARVELOUS TAMING OF THE STEPPENWOLF." With some trepidation a... Read More
Section 12 Inside the door labeled "ALL GIRLS ARE YOURS," it is a lovely spring day from Haller's youth. He stands atop a hill over... Read More
Section 13 Once again in the corridor of the Magic Theater, Haller immediately spies a door with the sign, "HOW ONE KILLS FOR LOVE.... Read More
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