Steppenwolf Characters

Steppenwolf Character List

Harry Haller

The protagonist of the novel, and a self proclaimed Steppenwolf, or wolf of the Steppes. It is his records left behind by him for The Nephew to read which make up the bulk of the novel and they consist of his journey of self discovery. He is both contemptuous and captivated by bourgeois society, and he strives and fails to fully separate himself from it. His recurring references to malicious self harm with his razor and reversions to isolation in times of enjoyment show his suicidal tendencies, as do his descriptions of his days being plodding and one being no different from the other. He has an elitist attitude and despises the music of the day, regarding Mozart as the ultimate figure in music.

The Nephew

Narrates the novels Preface, and conveys his initial dislike for Harry, which turns into a friendship. Harry's records are left behind for him, and he may do as he wishes with them, and through the Preface he provides us with his memories of Harry. At first he spies on his activity and looks into his room, and then he continues to describe Harry's change through his own observations, for example his being away for several nights at a time. He gains Steppenwolf's respect and he in turn strives to understand Steppenwolf's sickness of the soul and be empathetic.

The Aunt

The Steppenwolf's landlady, she rents him his room and she is the source of his admiration for her epitomization of bourgeois society's cleanliness and orderliness. Steppenwolf wins her heart in spite of his ragged appearance, and her motherly tendencies cloud her sense and she warms to him.

The Peddler

Appears carrying a signboard advertising the "Magic Theatre", and upon Steppenwolf's questioning he gives him the "Treatise On The Steppenwolf". Though only appearing for a very short time, he is the character who provides one of the most significant parts of the novel, the "Treatise On The Steppenwolf".


First encountered by Steppenwolf at his visit to the Black Eagle, Hermine strikes him as being remarkably similar to his childhood friend, Herman. Hermine enters a long conversation with him and prevents his suicide he planned to act out that night. It is Hermine who introduces Steppenwolf to Maria, gives him dance lessons to prepare for the Masked Ball, and ultimately sets up his trip to the Magic Theatre. At their first date, she tells Steppenwolf she will make him fall in love with her, and then he must kill her. This murder, though acted out in the Magic Theatre, is revealed to have been imagined, and she looks forward to their future together.


Introduced to Steppenwolf through Hermine, she becomes his lover and she teaches him sexual pleasure and sensuality. At his first dance, it is Maria he dances with and days later she is found waiting in his room for him, and she is described as a gift from Hermine. She also is in love with Pablo, and her fling with Steppenwolf does not upset him.


Erica's picture hangs in Steppenwolf's room, and The Nephew observes her couple of comings and goings and they have a poor relationship.

The Professor

An old friend of Steppenwolf's, they bump into each other in the street and he invites him to dinner at his house. They are said to have had deep, thoughtful conversations regarding Oriental mythology in the past, and he states he misses them. Steppenwolf is disgusted with a picture of Goethe which is in the Professor's house, and his unfiltered communication of this leads to an awkward and negative breaking off.


Operator of the Magic Theatre, musician in a genre which Steppenwolf feels strongly against. A close friend of Hermine's and has access to mind altering drugs, which may have a strong connection to Steppenwolf's vivid dreams and fictional thoughts. At first cold towards Steppenwolf, he opens up and they have an intelligent conversation regarding their stances on music and it's purpose. Steppenwolf's elitist attitude towards music contrasts Pablo's desire to simply make it and provide people with entertainment to dance to and enjoy.

Attorney-General Loering

Is a character in the automobile hunt scene in the Magic Theatre, and is fired upon by Harry and Gustav. Him and Gustav briefly debate duty and Gustav's undeniably strong stance causes Loering to acknowledge and invite the carrying out of Gustav's duty. His life is spared in the end.


Encountered by Steppenwolf in the automobile hunt Magic Theatre scene, and despite being a theologian, he assists Harry in assassinating the oncoming people in their automobiles and he provides his stance on duty. An old friend of Harry's, he sets aside his beliefs and theological views to carry out the war against the machines.


An Immortal, and lauded and admired by Harry, it his image who he sees with distaste at The Professor's. Goethe comes to Harry in a dream sequence, and he tells him he takes life far too seriously and puts too high a value on time.


Another one of the Immortals, and in Harry's opinion the most significant of them all, it is his compositions which he holds in the highest esteem. Mozart comes to him at the end and tells him that it his snobbery, overly serious nature and his being bereft of humor which are factors having led to his downfall. It is Mozart's ghastly laughter which haunts Harry, and he is in finality noted as one who awaits Harry's mastering of life's game.

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