Steppenwolf Mass Market Paperback – 1969
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a) The fundamental problem with man is avidya-ignorance. Because of this he identifies with everything. That which is relative he takes for the absolute. Through grasping and ignorance he identifies with the 'I' and 'Mine'. Thus he creates the ego. He assumes that he is an unity but actually its the ego or 'not self' that gives him this false sense of integrity.
This is the state of Harry Haller before he became Steppenwolf. His being cultured, well-read, scholarly gave him this false sense of the ego. In Mahayanist principles, he is looking at the world with his 'eye of flesh' only.
b) The first step towards enlightenment is to realise the duality of the ego, the I, the mine.
Harry Haller as Steppenwolf - Here Harry realises that infact he is not one. That which is not him he calls as Wolf. He sees in him both man and wolf, kindness and cruelty, love and hate, passion and compassion. But his classifying and categorising mind again divides all these emotions into 'man like' characteristics and 'wolf-like' characteristics.
Though steppenwolf's state of existence cannot be envied, it must be realised that its still better than his false sense of oneness. Here, Hesse is using the concept of the 'Deva eye' - the vision that helps one discern the dualistic aspect of the world because of identification with the ego.
c) Then Harry meets Hermine and Maria, that seedy musician and a gallery of characters. He is thrown into a vortex of sex, debauchery, mundanities. These experiences of Harry are completely different from what he thought of himself as - Man and Wolf.Read more ›
Hesse's portrayal of the two sides of one man, a disillusioned intellectual who imagines himself a lone wolf of the steppes amidst the crassness of the bourgeoisie, is carefully executed and probably autobiographical. It is full of philosophizing, fantasies, and dream-like sequences. STEPPENWOLF is a freshman literature teacher's dream---there is endless material for tutorial discussions, for essay topics too.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I have not read the book, but judging by its cover it is a book about a half-man half-wolf. That subject has been a favorite with horror writers through out history.Published on April 16 2004 by Festir
This is one of Hesse's most well-known works that differs stylistically from his other works like Siddartha, Narcissus and Goldmund, etc. Read morePublished on Aug. 12 2003
It is a quick read so if one is interested they should pursue it, but with hesitation. It is not as good as the hype.Published on March 3 2003 by Dustin Stein
I've read reviews where the reviewer has castigated this novel as "the perfect specimen of the Nietzschean overman who renounces the world. Read morePublished on Dec 25 2002
Harry Haller is a medium for Hesse to address some of the rather extremely intense issues. This is a story of a middle aged man who over the years becomes disillusioned with life. Read morePublished on Sept. 8 2002 by Jasleen Matharu
Herman Hesse was always an author I had heard about rather than experienced first hand. After reading Steppenwolf I am a fan. Read morePublished on Aug. 7 2002 by Gift Card Recipient
It is quite a common (normal, frequent) experience to struggle to find out our own identity. The complex, multiple personalities that exists within an individual triggers a great... Read morePublished on June 30 2002 by Sathish Srinivasan
I moved on to 'Steppenwolf' after having read Herman Hesse's 'Siddhartha'.
In both novels is an interesting recurrance of Indian philosophical strands and Hesse's thematic... Read more
This is one of my favorite books by a German writer, it is my first by Hesse, but certainly not be my last. Read morePublished on June 15 2002 by Silence Dogood