Life, Death and Transformation: Education and Incompleteness in Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game (2008)
Type of ContentJournal Articles
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury. School of Educational Studies and Human Development
AuthorsRoberts, P.show all
At the end of the main part of Hermann Hesse's classic novel, The Glass Bead Game, the central character, Joseph Knecht, dies suddenly. In this article, I consider the educational significance of Hesse's portrayal of Knecht's death. This pivotal moment in the book tells readers much about the process of educational transformation. I argue that the theme of incompleteness is important in understanding Knecht's life, death, and transformation in educational terms. I also suggest that teaching allows educators to 'live on' through the lives of others and thus serves as a bridge between death and life.
CitationRoberts, P. (2008) Life, Death and Transformation: Education and Incompleteness in Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game. Canadian Journal of Education, 31(3), pp. 667-696.
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Keywordsliterature; philosophy; teaching; immortality
ANZSRC Fields of Research22 - Philosophy and Religious Studies::2202 - History and Philosophy of Specific Fields::220202 - History and Philosophy of Education
19 - Studies in the Creative Arts and Writing::1904 - Performing Arts and Creative Writing::190499 - Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified