Stepping Out: A Review on Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf - Basil Creighton, Hermann Hesse

So, I haven'y posted any reviews lately or in awhile. I hope to change this. I'm putting this out there just so my fellow booklikers know I'd like to start being more active on here. I couldn't believe my last review was in March!


Anyway, I read Steppenwolf  and had so much to say about it...I actually couldn't come up with anything to say, at least coherently, but am sick of waiting for my thoughts to get their shit together ( seriously, I have had a hard time even remembering the word "the", not because of the book but because of my life lately) so here I am, with hopes I make some sense. 


Steppenwolf is a man named Harry Haller who believes that he is half wolf/half man. He struggles with coming to terms with the unruly wild side of himself and his tamer side. He is so torn that he often thinks about killing himself and even says he will when he reaches a certain age.


Hesse wrote that "Steppenwolf" is the one that was more often and more violently misunderstood than any other". After finishing the novel, I can't help but find this ironic because the character Steppenwolf, himself, seems to feel misunderstood most of the novel; misunderstood or very much alone within himself. So Steppenwolf himself misunderstands his life most of the time, and readers misunderstand the point? And they misunderstand because human nature is in essence to be a Steppenwolf? Maybe? Was Hesse trying to say that, sort of?


If you have read this, I'd love to hear your interpretations of this novel! There are so many different ways that readers can look at it.


Hesse goes on to say that some readers believe this story to be a sad one, when in actuality it is a story about healing. I thought a lot about that last part while reading this novel. I'm not sure if it is because I read what Hesse had said about it or if I came up with my own conclusions, but I believe that the book is about complete self acceptance. In order to enjoy his life, Steppenwolf must combine and accept both sides of his personality--and then and only then can he be happy and complete. I  can't help but feel that self actualization may indeed be the key to happiness--be it in the book or not.


Anyway, there are some things I'd like clarity the purpose of Hermine? Is she part of Harry or a real person? Also, the role hallucinogens played? I don't understand why they were needed or their literary purpose?


Anyway, I loved loved this book. Mostly because it left so much to think about and I could spend a lifetime trying to answer my questions. I loved loner Harry, probably because I am an introvert myself. Also, Hesse's philosophical writing style appeals to me ( I think this is a big indicator of whether or not one would want to read this) and while I liked his book Siddartha, I enjoyed Steppenwolf more due to the subject. I am drawn in and captivated by the misunderstood.


Note: Also, I'd like to thank Brokentune for the recommendation of Steppenwolf. I don't 5 star often but this is a definite 5 star for me.