Demian

Jungian Influence

Since at least 1914, if not 1909, Hesse had been encountering the newly growing field of psychoanalysis as it moved through the German intellectual circles. During the 1910s Hesse felt that his psychological difficulties which he had had as a youth and which he still felt torn by needed to be dealt with through psychotherapy. In 1916–17 he underwent treatment through psychoanalysis with Dr. Josef Lang, a disciple of Carl Jung. Through his contact with Lang and later, in 1921, from having psychoanalysis done by Jung, Hesse became very interested in Jungian analysis and interpretation. Demian is replete with both Jungian archetypes and Jungian symbolism. In addition, psychoanalysis helped Hesse identify psychological problems which he had experienced in his youth, including internal tension caused by a conflict between his own carnal instincts and the strict moralism of his parents. Such themes appear throughout Demian as semi-autobiographical reflections upon Hesse's own exploration of Jungian philosophy.[2]


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