Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha

This paper discusses Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, a novel about enlightenment, peace, and happiness.

This paper relates that the main character, Siddhartha, searches for eternal peace and contentment throughout his life and becomes a champion to those who hope for their own tranquility and inner peace. The author points out that the river is one of the enduring and important symbols in this novel because, at the riverbank, Siddhartha finds his eternal peace and wisdom and because the river represents the separation between the two periods of Siddhartha’s life, two opposites that negate each other and create a new and enlightened being. The paper stresses that the novel has remained a popular and enduring work of fiction, especially resurrected during the 1960s `love child` era, when young people were searching for their own meaning and transformation in life.
`The novel tells the tale of a Buddha who has transformed himself from mere mortal to self-actualized prophet and wise man, who in turn, can influence the lives of others. The first section of the novel illustrates the real world of greed and selfishness, which Siddhartha must experience to truly understand the opposite life of self-actualization and understanding. When Siddhartha finally understands there is nothing but `now,` and the past and the present only exist in our minds, he is transformed, and he has reached the peak of nirvana. This is the ultimate and enduring theme of the novel, that we can reach a state of nirvana through life experience and the knowledgeable teachings of others.`

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