Siddhartha Novel Analysis: A Journey To Inner Peace
In the short story “Siddhartha” readers are introduced to the idea of true enlightenment. Siddhartha grew up centered around the teachings and philosophy of brahmanism. Siddhartha felt the teachings of Brahmanism did not fulfil his religious desires. Siddhartha spends his entire life searching for the true source of inner peace and enlightenment. “Siddhartha” was wrote by the german novelist, Hermann Hesse.
When comparing Hesse’s life to Siddhartha’s, you will find they have many similarities. By examining the mental, spiritual, and physical aspects of three major philosophical leaders, Hermann Hesse, Gautama Buddha, and Carl Jung, illustrates, like Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse was trying to understand religion for himself.
Siddhartha finds himself on a journey searching for inner peace. Siddhartha travels to many places, participating in a variety of other religions in order to find self completion. Siddhartha is the son of a Hinduest Priest. Siddhartha and his best friend Govinda, grew up influenced by the teachings of Brahmanism. Due to the placement and respect Siddhartha’s father held, the people of the village adored Siddhartha.
Despite how much joy Siddhartha brought to others, he found himself unable to reach happiness. Siddhartha spent his entire childhood dedicated to learn the ways of the Brahmin. Siddhartha learned everything about Brahmanism, but could not find the inner peace he was looking for. Siddhartha felt there was nothing left his father could teach him, because of this feeling he decides to discover a new pathway for his life. Siddhartha’s father disapproved of his departure, but Siddhartha was so passionate to leave, he stood unmoving over the course of an entire night to display his determination.
Despite his father’s efforts to keep Siddhartha home, in the end he agreed to letting him go. Siddhartha had convinced himself he needed to leave in order to find peace, despite his father’s disapproval. The decision Siddhartha made to leave his home holds impact on the text because, Siddhartha went against everything he stood for in order to find enlightenment. In Siddhartha’s time, it was found uncommon to depart from your teachings, family, and religion. This shows enlightenment was Siddhartha’s main priority.
Hermann Hesse wrote the short story “Siddhartha” to express his own experience with religion. Hesse’s parents were missionaries in India. Both his mother and father had expected him to continue their work of christian ministry. As a young child Hesse rebelled against the idea of christianity. Due to the missionary work his family took part in, Hesse was exposed to other religions such as buddhism and hinduism. Learning about different religions, opened Hesse’s eyes. Later life choices revolved around expanding his knowledge of the meaning behind religion. Discovering religion quickly became a focal point in Hesse’s life. Hesse attempted to comprehend religion on his own rather than following the ways of others, similar to the life of Siddhartha.
Throughout Siddhartha’s journey for inner peace, he partakes in the way of the world. Siddhartha meets a woman named Kamayla. Kamayla attempts to teach Siddhartha the ways of the world. After Siddhartha partakes in everything the world had to offer, he is left with feelings of emptiness and disappointment. Siddhartha partook in the temptations of sex, money, gambling, and love. After these encounters Siddhartha had nearly given up. Feeling lost and empty Siddhartha attempted to commit suicide. This circumstance was the darkest part of siddhartha’s journey.
The most depressing moments of “Siddhartha” could be symbolizing the dark moments of Hesse’s life. When Hesse was 14, he was expelled from school. Soon after being expelled from school, Hesse struggled with severe depression followed by anger issues. The period of depression Hesse experienced, is symbolized by Siddhartha’s near suicide attempt.
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