Analysis Of Herman Hesse's Siddhartha

1175 words - 5 pages

Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha describes the journey and maturation of Siddhartha. Siddhartha is a young Indian, whose journey to find internal peace takes him to many different places. One of these is the city, where he soon accumulates a large fortune. Wealth and material possession haunt Siddhartha and hinder him from attaining internal peace. This is also demonstrated Brahmin village where he is unhappy with the rituals, and sees wealth and material goods destroying him Herman Hesse uses Siddhartha demonstrate that success is not derived from material wealth, but from personal successes that may have nothing to do with wealth.

Siddhartha, a member of the wealthy Brahmin Caste, is unhappy due to his inability to achieve nirvana. Siddhartha appears to be perfect, possessing the good lucks, charm, and intelligence. This is what all Brahmins wish to possess. The young Brahmin cannot be taught anymore by the Brahmin teachings and rituals, and this makes him discontent. Siddhartha believes that knowledge is required to attain Nirvana and he feels that he is held down by his material possessions. One ritual he becomes disillusioned with is the ablution ritual because “…they did not wash off the sin, they did not heal the spirit's thirst, they did not relieve the fear in his heart.” (5-6).His goal is to achieve enlightenment and he knows it will be difficult with the limited knowledge he has learned from the Brahmins. Siddhartha knows that achieving internal peace will be very hard and while Siddhartha is meditating near the river, he realizes that there must be an efficient method to enlightenment.

Siddhartha, after realizing that the Brahmins will not aid him in achieving his ultimate goal, joins the Samanas. This brief stay with the Samanas leads him again to the same realization that this group could not help him either. After having left the Samanas he walks into the city, were he admires the beautiful courtesan, Kamala. “When late in the afternoon, beautiful Kamala approached her grove in her sedan-chair, Siddhartha was standing at the entrance, made a bow and received the courtesan's greeting.”(51) He soon begins visiting to her learn the “art of love”. She tells that if he gets a job, dresses well, and gives her gifts, she can accept his offer. She tells him that he should go to Kamaswami the merchant because he may have a job for Siddhartha. At first Siddhartha seems to not understand the common man, not understanding Kamaswami’s worries about business, putting people above the business such as when “He was open to everything, these people brought his way.” (70) Siddhartha seems able to retain his Samana ways believing people to be more important than material goods, but only for a short time. He soon becomes engulfed with the need to gamble away his vast fortune, begins hiring erotic dancers, and begins to drink. He shakes down his costumers for money, forcing the debtors to pay, stopping the salesman for cheating him, not equally...

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