Notable passages

These passages are segments of the novel that best demonstrate themes and lessons to be learned when reading Demian. They are a couple of the central ideas and morals of the book.

"Der Vogel kämpft sich aus dem Ei. Das Ei ist die Welt. Wer geboren werden will, muß eine Welt zerstören. Der Vogel fliegt zu Gott. Der Gott heißt Abraxas."
(The bird struggles out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born must first destroy a world. The bird then flies to God. That God's name is Abraxas.)
"Schicksal und Gemüt sind Namen eines Begriffs." Das hatte ich nun verstanden.
("Fate and temperament are two words for one and the same concept." That was clear to me now.)
"Ich habe nichts dagegen, daß man diesen Gott Jehova verehrt, nicht das mindeste. Aber ich meine, wir sollen Alles verehren und heilig halten, die ganze Welt, nicht bloß diese künstlich abgetrennte, offizielle Hälfte! Also müssen wir dann neben dem Gottesdienst auch einen Teufelsdienst haben."
("I have no objection to worshiping this God Jehovah, far from it. But I mean we ought to consider everything sacred, the entire world, not merely the artificially separated half! Thus alongside the divine service we should also have a service for the devil.")
"If today you had to choose one of the two thieves as a friend or think about which of the two you could sooner put your trust in, it's certainly not that whimpering convert. No, it's the other one, he's a real man with character. He doesn't give a hoot about converting, which in his situation can only be pretty speechifying; he travels his path to the end, and doesn't act like a coward at the last minute, renouncing the Devil, who must have helped him up until then. He's a man of character, and people of character generally get short shrift in Bible stories. Maybe he's a descendant of Cain. Don't you think so?"

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