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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
The novel begins with a "Preface", which is set in the house of the Editor's aunt. The second part of the novel, "Harry Haller's Records" is set in the aunt's house, on the streets of the town, and in an ancient tavern; Harry Haller's home is also mentioned. In Part 3 of the novel, the setting shifts frequently and includes the landlady's house, the streets of the town, a crematorium, the professor's house, "The Black Eagle Tavern," a restaurant, Haller's room, and "The Steel Helmet Pub" Haller also goes to a Masked Ball and to the Magic Theater.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
The protagonist of the novel. He is an intelligent, well-read person, who has traveled extensively and loves classical art forms, especially the music of Mozart and the literature of Goethe. He feels himself to be an outsider, for he despises the petty pleasures that characterize middle-class existence; but he is attracted to the bourgeois values of cleanliness and orderliness, which he has difficulty putting in his life. The book is about his conflict of trying to accept the many sides of his personality.
The second, split personality of Harry Haller. This is the baser, persecutory part of his nature, in contrast to his intellectual and human aspect.
The Editor of Haller's manuscript. He is a middle-class man, who lives in his aunt's boarding house, where he meets Haller. He works in an office, enjoys music and intellectual conversation, and leads a regular life. He edits the manuscript left behind by Haller, producing the final book.
A courtesan who introduces Haller to the lighter side of life and has a tremendous influence on him. In a way, she is a reflection of him. At the end of the book, Haller stabs her in the Magic Theater when he finds her in the arms of Pablo.
Another beautiful courtesan that Hermine introduces to Haller as a gift. Haller falls in love with her because she is able to make him feel relaxed and enjoy sexual pleasures. She is also Hermine's lover
A jazz musician who plays the saxophone and serves as the director of the Magic Theater. He loves both Hermine and Maria. He also tries to raise Haller's spirits and helps him to understand himself.
A musician whom Haller has always admired. He plays an important role in the Magic Theater. Pablo merges into his character.