Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Languages, Literatures and Cultures



First Advisor

Yvonne M Ivory

Second Advisor

Agnes C Mueller


The thematic motif of duality can frequently be found in the works of the German author Hermann Hesse. The disparity between the spiritual and the worldly, light and darkness, the temporal and the timeless are some of the themes scholars have explored in Hesse's novels. The perceived duality of the masculine and feminine, along with its im-plications for the relationship between the characters and, subsequently, an interpretation of his oeuvre, however, is one of the themes which has not yet been analyzed as thor-oughly. The supposed ‘duality’ of masculinity and femininity is questioned by various disciplines nowadays, but it was a concept that was taken for granted at the turn of the 20th century. With an almost universal absence of female main characters in Hesse's novels, Hesse still succeeds in creating gender-distinctive relationships between the main male characters. In this thesis I look at the way Hermann Hesse endows his male charac-ters with both male and female characteristics in the novels Demian and Narziß und Goldmund.


© 2011, Isabel Meusen