Good and Evil and the Search for Self in Demian and The Lord of the Flies.
In literature, characters are often faced with a series of events or a set of circumstances that change their view of themselves. Often, these changes cause them to waver between two separate versions of their natures, and make them question their own inherent goodness. This universal theme, the struggle between good and evil, manifests itself in most works throughout the ages. Two such works are Demian by Herman Hesse, and The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Both of these novels tell tales of adolescents working their way through an internal or external struggle between the forces of good and evil. The children described in the stories find it necessary to examine their natures to find where they belong, who they are, and what they believe. .
In Demian, Herman Hesse tells the tale of Emil Sinclair, a young boy who discovers an entire new world outside the life he shares with his family. After this, Emil divides the world into two crude categories: the light and the dark. Although Emil felt content dwelling within the realm of light with his family, the realm of darkness constantly called to him, tempting him to forsake his innocence. He simultaneously felt apprehension and longing for the outside world to which most other people belonged. The boy ends up hovering between the two extremes, making quick trips to either side, but never settling down in one place. Emil knew that if he was to be happy in either realm, he needed to figure out what was within him, and decide which world he was meant to be a part of. His struggle between the forces of good and evil are represented by the realms of light and darkness, as well as by the people he meets during his life. .
The first person that makes a huge impact on the direction of Emil's life is Franz Kromer. A classic bully, Kromer introduces Emil to the world of darkness with simple blackmail.