Gynos-Synthesis En Route From Conflict to Harmony a Psycho-Spiritual Re-Reading of Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf


That ‘Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains’ is true of men and women today, greatly owing to the unresolved conflicts, intra-, inter-, and trans-personal in nature. A logical derivation from this truth is that a resolution of the conflicts would regain freedom for Man, and, that the process of conflict-resolution could best start at intra-personal level and flow over to the other levels, eventually becoming a globally-blossomed phenomenon. Working towards such harmony has become a ‘fierce urgency’ now, not only for the socio-economic-political activists, but for every thinker, particularly in the academic arena. The conference’ theme addresses this urgency of the hour. In line with the focal theme of Libreuro 2014, my paper studies Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf a modern classic which records the conflict of a man torn between his individualism and social respectability and his self-affirmation and self-destruction, and attempts to show how the man in conflict, through a psycho-spiritual integration of the feminine, attains intra- and inter- personal harmony and contributes to the social harmony and synergy. The ‘feminine (Gynos) integration (Synthesis)’ in and around which the paper revolves and evolves, is grounded in Jungian Anima-Animus archetypes and other psychological, aesthetic and spiritual roots. The paper, with its psycho-spiritual perspectives and content, would enlighten its readers and listeners to undergo similar integration and experience harmony and further endow them with a vivid understanding of how classic literature across national boundaries could substantially contribute to conflict-resolution, and building-up of social synergy and harmony.

Author Information
S Paul Pragash, St. Joseph's College (Bharathidasan University), India

Paper Information
Conference: LibEuro2014
Stream: Literature - European Literature

This paper is part of the LibEuro2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon