Analysis

The name of Sinclair's boarding school has been conspicuously generalized, but we are given the relevant information about the school. It is a Christian institution, since its name has "St." in it. On the one hand, Sinclair (as narrator) may have chosen to delete the name in order to de-emphasize the school's specific name and heighten the importance of its religious characteristics. He could have been at any Christian boarding school and his experience would have been the same—there was nothing spectacular or distinguishing about the school itself beyond its religious function. On the other hand, perhaps Sinclair has really forgotten the name of the school. In this case, the name would convey just how plain and uninteresting the school appeared to Sinclair, who could recall only that it was called St. something-or- other.

Sinclair often looks for validation in his interactions with older, authoritative children. Reflecting on his initial conversation at the bar with Beck, Sinclair writes: "When he called me a damned clever little bastard, the words ran like sweet wine into my soul." Just as he was seeking approval from Kromer and Demian, Sinclair wants Beck to think highly of him. As a result, he garners immense pleasure from the complement.

Beatrice is a human parallel to many of the ideas developing in Sinclair's head. Sinclair describes Beatrice as having some boyish features. As his paradigm of a woman, she is not entirely female. Just as he is beginning to see that he wants to lead a life that involves partaking of some of the things that traditionally are seen as evil, so too his ideal woman is one who is not exclusively female, but one who partakes of both "realms"—the male and the female.

Sinclair's dream at the end of the chapter is full of symbolism. The sparrow hawk, described as a "triumphant bird," represents the element of Demian's personality that is striving to break free. Sinclair cannot, however, break free on his own. He needs Demian's help. Demian's forcing him to eat the keystone represents the role Demian plays in fostering Sinclair's development—helping him learn to transcend his upbringing and be independent. Further, Sinclair comments at the end of the dream that he felt that the bird "had begun to swell up and devour" him. This represents the increasing independence on his part. By the end of this chapter, Sinclair has come much closer to forging his own path and truly breaking free of his childhood.