A middle-aged recluse who lives alone in a bourgeois
lodging house. Harry Haller refers to himself as a “Steppenwolf”
because he feels like a lonely wolf of the steppes, removed from
the obsessions and conventions common to most people. Harry believes himself
to be divided between two extremes: a man-half who shares the ideals
and interests of humanity, and a beast-half that sees those aspirations
as futile, absurd vanities.
lovely young hedonist and courtesan. Hermine resembles Romantic
stereotypes such as the Madonna-Sophia figure, the noble whore,
and the loving sister. Since she looks extraordinarily like Harry’s
childhood friend Herman, we are led to believe that she is perhaps only
a reflection of some part of Harry.
in-depth analysis of Hermine.
blonde and blue-eyed lover. Maria is a creature of the senses, talented
in all the intricate arts of love and as voracious as she is generous.
Her love reenergizes Harry with new hope and vitality. Harry’s love
affair with Maria makes him fond of aspects of sexuality and romance
that he previously had seen as degrading and trivial.
jazz saxophone player and bandleader wildly popular among the denizens
of the world of pleasure. Laconic and unabashedly modern, at first
Pablo inspires the Steppenwolf only with disdain. Harry calls him
a child with no worries. Pablo is the polar opposite of Harry, substituting
with pleasure what Harry has in intellect.
in-depth analysis of Pablo.
renowned classical composer. Harry, who has a lifelong obsession
with Mozart, encounters him in the Magic Theater as the ultimate
representative of “the immortals.” This eccentric, personal Mozart
is as modern as he is a man of the past, and is also thoroughly
unceremonious and jocular.
nephew of the Steppenwolf’s landlady. The novel opens with a fictional
preface by the Editor, to whom Harry has left his records, indicating
he may do with them as he pleases. The Editor, a straightforwardly bourgeois
individual, has respect and sympathy
Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!