Siddhartha is an allegoric novel written by the German writer Hermann Hesse in 1922. The novel is about the young Brahman Siddhartha and his friend Govinda. Siddhartha is a noble and respected man and he has decided to devote the whole his life to the search of Ātman – the absolute which exists inside every human being. During the journey Siddhartha turns into Samaṇa – ascetic and poor and Govinda follows him believing that this lifestyle can help them find the absolute. Nevertheless, Siddhartha feels that Samana lifestyle will not help him reach his aim, so he decides to fulfill the pilgrimage with Govinda to Gautama Buddha. Unfortunately, Siddhartha does not accept his doctrine, while Govinda has attained enlightenment and does not question the truthfulness of the doctrine but he understands that he is not worthy to accept and follow it. It is impossible to become Buddha only with the help of doctrines – one can reach to it only with the help of experience.
Siddhartha decided to change his life and began to appreciate the beauty of the nature and the joy of the common life. He met Kamala and became the helper of a merchant in order to support his living and then a ferryman. Kamala gave birth to the son who was named also Siddhartha and they made a pilgrimage to the dying Gautama Buddha. Then Hesse demonstrates the meeting of Siddhartha and Govinda after many years of separation and shows that Siddhartha has reached the absolute in the common lifestyle and parenthood. The majority of the facts and motives were taken from the Indian mythology.
Siddhartha is the novel written by Hermann Hesse and it is famous for its allegory and numerous symbols which require attentive and scrupulous reading. The student who is asked to prepare a term paper about the book should read it carefully and understand the plot and characterize the main heroes represented in the text. It is important to enumerate and analyze the problems which have been illustrated in the book and think about the description of the characters and define their role in the novel. Moreover, one is supposed to learn something more about the background information about Siddhartha and its roots in Indian and Buddhist mythology.
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