A compilation of mindless rants on "the sacred sense of beyond, of timelessness, of a world which had an eternal value and the substance of which was divine... the redemption of time" (Steppenwolf by Hesse)
Harry Haller believes life consists of constant destructions of the self. No matter where he goes it is pointless because the cycle of sufferings will continue to replay.
“At the end of the road there was no peace or quiet―but forever destroying the self, in order to renew the self” (Hesse 69)
It’s sort of contradictory in the way that his records conclude with the prospect of starting over.
“I was determined to begin the game afresh. I would sample its tortures once more and shudder again its senselessness. I would traverse not once more, but often, the hell of my inner being” (Hesse 217)
What changes in the end of the story that makes him so much more hopeful? He’s satisfied with the tragedy of his life. He notes “A glimpse of its meaning had stirred my reason” (117); noting the change. What is different this time? Has he found satisfaction in the way the professor views the world? believing in “progress and evolution” (78). Before he was denying the truth to the professor’s views noting how wars are continues and even science is a constant “shattering of foundations” (78).