Life, Death and Transformation: Education and Incompleteness in Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game
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.