This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Comparing The Theme Of Self Discovery In Demian And Siddhartha

2633 words - 11 pages

  Literature reflects many aspects

 of human nature.  It can be seen as a

collection of mankind's thoughts.  The intangible is transformed from

brainwave patterns to ink patterns.  What leads to the writing of literature

varies from author to author.   In the case of Hermann Hesse, it was his

personal experiences in life.  In the novels Demian and Siddhartha, Hermann

Hesse was influenced by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, both psycho-analysts.    

A personal crisis, which caused Hesse to undergo psycho-analysis with Dr. J.B.

Lang, led to the writing of Demian in 1919.  His fascination with Eastern

cultures and his trip to India in 1922 directly resulted in the creation of

the novel Siddhartha.     The fundamental theme of self-discovery is evident

in both novels.  Self-discovery involves developing the mind,  experiencing

life, obtaining wisdom, learning about oneself, coming to an understanding and

acceptance of this, and by the end, discovering one's identity.  This theme of

self-discovery was important to Hesse because he experienced similar events in

life.  He was born in Germany in 1877 and raised in a Protestant household

with expectations to follow in the footsteps of his forefathers and become a

missionary.  He did not wish to do so, partly because he was interested in

Eastern religions.  This personal crisis of the questioning of fundamental

beliefs deeply affected Hesse.  In Demian he writes, "There is only one true

vocation for everybody - to find the way to himself." (Hesse, Demian, 1989,

p.120)  Through his struggles, he found that the road to self-discovery could

only be experienced firsthand and could not be explained in words or taught to

others.  "... but it becomes clear to him that the way of salvation can not be

taught, that words and creeds are empty sounds, that each man must find the

way by himself, the secret of the experience can not be passed on."

(Malthaner, 1952, p.103)  This underlying secret was incorporated into the

novels Demian and Siddhartha.

 

     In both novels, Hermann Hesse explores the theme of self-discovery by

portraying two contrasting worlds, including an all-knowing figure, and

involving religion.  By developing two contrasting worlds, the protagonist,

Sidd in Siddhartha and Sinclair in Demian, is able to explore different

philosophies and unite the two worlds to find a harmonious relationship

between them.  The use of an all-knowing figure provides the protagonist with

a guiding mentor to aid in the exploration of life and in the attainment of

wisdom, which is an essential part of self-discovery.  Religion, as a

fundamental road to self-discovery, is a foundation that is first accepted,

then questioned, eventually rejected, and finally modified.  These three

elements of finding one's own personal philosophy,...

Find Another Essay On Comparing the Theme of Self-Discovery in Demian and Siddhartha

The Theme of Self Esteem in Othello

1459 words - 6 pages The Theme of Self Esteem in Othello For the theater-going people of the Elizabethan age, there were many hardships. Many of them experienced poor living conditions and treatment. All of them faced the dangers of a comparatively underdeveloped medical knowledge which often left the young and elderly to die of common diseases. The magic of Shakespeare is not only that historians can learn of otherwise undocumented details of the 1500's, but

Self-discovery, Destruction, and Preservation in Frankenstein

1815 words - 7 pages Self-discovery, Destruction, and Preservation in Frankenstein       Mary Shelley's Frankenstein explores the downfall of certain human characteristics, set to the backdrop of creation, destruction, and preservation. The subtitle denoted by Shelly herself supports this idea, by relating the fact that the title can be viewed as either Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. One scholar, Marilyn Butler, also maintains this by noting, "It

Siddhartha Essay: The Symbols of the Smile and the River in Siddhartha

1316 words - 5 pages The Symbols of the Smile and the River in Siddhartha       An important symbol in Siddhartha is the smile. Each of the three characters in the story who attain a final state of complete serenity is characterized by a beautiful smile which reflects their peaceful, harmonious state. In each case this smile is a completely natural phenomenon; it cannot be created at will by people who have not attained the prerequisite state of harmony with

Europe: The Land Of Self-Discovery

1684 words - 7 pages Europe: The Land Of Self-Discovery Every person has, in the course of his or her life, experienced some event that can be identified as life changing. This event can be an emotional enlightenment or a physical change that alters one’s mindset. Such a clarifying incident can happen at any time. However, I believe that such an event might not occur during the first eighteen years of a person’s life. Lucky for me, I have had

Comparing the Theme of Sacrifice in My Antonia and The Song of the Lark

2758 words - 11 pages Theme of Sacrifice in My Antonia and The Song of the Lark         A common trait for Willa Cather's characters is that they possess a certain talent or skill. This art usually controls the lives of these characters. According to critic Maxell Geismar, Cather's heroines who possess a skill often either do not marry or marry men whom they dominate; if they do marry the marriage is without excitement because their passion is invested in

Knowing Self and Self Discovery

1276 words - 6 pages instrumental music to stimulate its consciousness or else it fades away. My inner passive voice reminds me of the character Barbra Follett in the essay, Vanishing Act. Barbra Follett never got the opportunity to develop herself as a whole person due to her being a genius author. In fact, she spent most of her youth trying writing and getting her novels published. If writing is journey of self-discovery is not life also? One of the most interesting twist

Siddhartha's Journey of Self-Actualization in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha

657 words - 3 pages Samantha Murillo Period 5 AP English Siddhartha In “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha is put to the test to find inner enlightenment while trying to discover himself. He must work through the hardships and overcome loosing himself along the way. Siddhartha began his adolescence with learning the ways of Brahman in hopes to find enlightenment by following the footsteps of his father. He lived along with his best friend Govinda but

The role of the river in siddhartha and the metamorphosis

1270 words - 5 pages One can find many similar recurring themes in the novels Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, and Perfume, by Patrick Suskind. Both authors use an aspect of nature as a symbol, the river. Since the time of the ancient Chinese, Pharaohs, Romans and Greeks, people have believed that the flow of the river represents the flow in one's life. They use the river to symbolise peoples' existence. In both books, the river portrays spiritual aspects that tell the

The Theme of Self-awareness in Frankenstein, Flowers for Algernon, and A Clockwork Orange

671 words - 3 pages Self-awareness is the main theme that is present throughout all three novels, Frankenstein, Flowers for Algernon, and A Clockwork Orange. All four characters, Charlie, Alex, Victor, and the monster are aware of themselves. Alex’s awareness is revealed in the first page of the novel when Alex says, “What’s it going to be then, eh?”(Burgess 1). In Flowers for Algernon, Charlie’s consciousness is shown through his written progress reports. In

How Shakespeare Explores the Theme of Deception and Self-Deception in Twelfth Night

3978 words - 16 pages How Shakespeare Explores the Theme of Deception and Self-Deception in Twelfth Night Deception is the use of deceit that deceives everyone around you including yourself. It is the fact or state of being deceived. It can be a ruse or a trick in disguise, which deludes, giving a sense of indirection. It’s a misleading falsehood. One can deceive by running away from even their true self either physically or mentally. Self

The Use of Nature in Siddhartha and A Doll’s House

1570 words - 6 pages The Use of Nature in Siddhartha and A Doll’s House Herman Hesse and Henrik Ibsen make extensive references to and use of nature in their respective masterpieces, Siddhartha and A Doll’s House. This includes the use of nature as imagery, symbolism, and to create a motif. While the objects in nature do differ because of the location of the stories, there is also overlap. In Siddhartha Herman Hesse refers to two symbols of nature, birds and

Similar Essays

Self Discovery In Siddhartha Essay

1175 words - 5 pages Self-discovery in Siddhartha           Siddhartha, the novel by Hermann Hesse is what can be included as one of the epitomes of allegorical literature.  This wondrous novel is focused on the tribulations of Siddhartha through his quest for inner peace.    He started out as a young Brahmin's son always thirsting for more intellect and perspective in his life and from

Discovery Of The Self Essay

1836 words - 7 pages self, how is the self discovered/encountered, what makes the discovery of the self challenging, what aspects of the self were for me the most challenging, and what are the obstacles to the discovery of the self? These six questions will describe the nature of my encounter with the various components of the phenomenon addressed in the text known as "The Self". To begin the analysis of the self, one first has to define what is the self, and it's

The Theme Of Identity In Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha And Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis

2490 words - 10 pages SIDDHARTHA VS METAMORPHOSIS BATTLE OF IDENTITY OR THE SELF In this paper, I choose to speak about the theme of Identity or The Self occurring in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha and Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Hermann Hesse was a german poet, novelist and painter. He was born in 1877 at Cawl, Germany. In most of his works he explores an individual’s search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. Franz Kafka was a German-language writer of

Comparing The Journeys Of Hesse's Siddhartha And Gandhi

2065 words - 8 pages was conquered and dead, when all passions and desires were silent, then the last must awaken, the innermost of Being that is no longer Self-the great secret!" (Hesse 14). Siddhartha accordingly sought to lose himself, but only succeeded in returning to himself. At this point, Siddhartha, the self-centered thinker, re-evaluated his path to nirvana. He came to the conclusion that all teachings were useless, that he would have to find his own way