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Steppenwolfs Magic Theater

            Perhaps the most climactic and interesting event in Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf is that which occurs in the Magic Theater, Hesse's imaginary world introduced to Harry Haller by Pablo, the sax player. The Magic Theater is similar to a fun house one might go through at an amusement park, or even more so, a drug induced acid trip. One of the major questions of the novel is whether or not the Magic Theater is real. Many parts of the incident lead to the assumption of it being surreal, however nonetheless very significant to Harry Hallers journey towards finding his own reality in life.
             The trip through the Magic Theater begins when Harry loses his coat check claim ticket and a stranger gives him his own. However the ticket is actually to the Magic Theater. After receiving the ticket, Harry finds Hermine and Pablo invites them both to a room where he gives them some sort of drug. Pablo then tells Harry that he will make visible to Harry a world beyond time that exists only in Harry's soul. .
             At the entrance to the Magic Theater, Pablo gives Harry a mirror in which the reflection of a man and wolf are revealed, images of how Harry sees himself. Pablo tells Harry that the Magic Theater is a "school of humor," which makes Harry laugh and hence destroys the mirror. Inside the Theater, Harry is allowed to enter various rooms in which reality is what he makes it to be, including one in which he is loved by every woman he has ever met. Eventually he comes to a room where he has to kill his last love, Hermine, when he finds her in the arms of Pablo. After he kills Hermine, Mozart enters the room with a radio and explains to Harry that the radio presents the conflict between what's real and what's not, between humanity and spirituality. He sends Harry to "HARRY"S EXECUTION" where he is charged for misusing the Magic Theater and for having no humor. However Mozart does say that Harry must live and learn to laugh, and at the end of his "trip," Harry makes it a point to one day learn to laugh.

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