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Siddhartha: A Pious Hero Essay

1030 words - 5 pages

In Herman Hesse’s novel Siddhartha, a young man leaves his prosperous Brahmin family because he is spiritually dissatisfied. A solemn, divine traveler, Siddhartha is entirely consumed by his quest for spiritual enlightenment. One could argue whether or not the acquisitive Siddhartha is a hero. By accurately following steps in Joseph Campbell’s “Heroic Quest Model” and abiding by the dictionary definition of a hero, however, Siddhartha is indeed considered a heroic figure.
To begin, Campbell’s “Heroic Quest Model” is precisely used to outline the heroic quest of the hero, Siddhartha. Siddhartha starts by embarking on his journey with his call to adventure. The author quotes, “He had ...view middle of the document...

Although Kamala ardently educates Siddhartha, she also creates a chasm between Siddhartha and his goal. Siddhartha realizes that sticking with Kamala is folly and he tries to leave, but one thing keeps him from straying, and that is Kamala herself. Kamala thwarts Siddhartha. However, Siddhartha is able to release Kamala’s tenacity on him. Siddhartha flees the city and wanders aimlessly back to the river he had crossed with the ferryman, feeling miserable and contemplating suicide. He ponders the paths he has taken in search of enlightenment, his ultimate goal. As he is about to let himself slip into the water to end his useless life, the consecrated word “Om” resounds within him, and his spirit awakens. Eliminating his suicidal thoughts, Siddhartha falls asleep. When he awakens, Hesse states, “He was remarkably awake, happy, and curious,” (Hesse 91). Upon his awakening, Siddhartha gains his god-like power of vanity in his achievements. This pleasure makes Siddhartha refuse to return home. At last, with the help along the way, Siddhartha becomes the master of two worlds; by having the freedom to live and to continue his circuitous spiritual journey. All in all, this proves how well Siddhartha’s quest is merely outlined using Campbell’s “Heroic Quest Model”, verifying he is a hero.
Next, Siddhartha aligns with a variety of dictionary definitions of a hero. For example, “A person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities. : a person who is greatly admired. : the chief male character in a story, play, movie, etc.” Siddhartha is admired for his brave acts and fine qualities by his friend Govinda when Hesse states, “Govinda, his friend, the Brahmin’s son, loved him more than anybody else. He loved the way he walked, his complete grace of movement; he loved everything that Siddhartha did and said, and above all he loved his intellect, his fine ardent thoughts, his strong will, his high vocation,” (Hesse 4). This quote proves that Govinda is ardent about Siddhartha, the chief male character in the story. This next quote helps to explain the...

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