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Demian

by: Hermann Hesse

Symbols

The Sparrow Hawk

The sparrow hawk first appears when Demian mentions that he noticed it in the archway above the door to Demian's house. That Demian takes note of it already sets it aside as significant. Further, it forms a connection between Demian and Sinclair. The meaning of the symbol is not fully realized until later in the work when it becomes a part of Sinclair's dreams. The bird represents a desire to break free, to be independent. Symbolically, since the bird appears on Sinclair's childhood house, it shows that this yearning has been with Sinclair from the very beginning. Later, the sparrow appears much brighter, illuminated. This indicates that Sinclair has reached within himself to activate the part of him that longs to be set free.