Steppenwolf Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf is the story of Harry Haller, a recluse among society who feels his existence has become a heavy burden. He rents a room from a middle aged woman and her nephew, where he resides for six to eight months. He has very little to do with the pleasures of life, and spends most of his days in his room with his books, and most of his nights in lonely taverns. Though he is an intelligent man who once had many stimulating conversations with noble scholars, he finds himself lost   between man and wolf. The man inside is starving for the bond with middle class society, and the wolf is eager for the return to isolation. During one of his late night walks, Harry is given an invitation to the Magic Theater, described as a place for madmen only.
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Weeks later, he assures himself that the theater was only an illusion, and contemplates his demise by means of self destruction. However, Harry is somewhat terrified of death, and instead of returning home to his razor, he takes a chance and goes to a jazzy nightclub (of which he has always detested). There he meets Hermine, a beautiful woman who seems to know more about him than he himself. Harry becomes her obedient student. She teaches him little things about life that the middle class society finds pleasurable, and teaches him things about himself that had eluded him before. Hermine has the ability to take the Steppenwolf under her wing and understand his self torture, luring him out of deaths door.

The review of this Book prepared by Carla Taylor

Harry Haller, a thinly disguised representation of Hesse himself comes to realize his true self.
The review of this Book prepared by Amanda Van Laarhoven

Chapter Analysis of Steppenwolf

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1900-1920's Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   nature of existence (heavy philosophy) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   scholar    -   journalist Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   German


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Germany

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Hermann Hesse Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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