August 26, 2012
Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse aligns perfectly with the genre of a bildungsroman. Why? Because Siddhartha grows as a person from youth to adulthood throughout the story. He leaves his home looking for answers and experience trying to achieve Nirvana. Siddhartha’s unhappiness makes him leave on a journey looking for enlightenment. In a bildungsroman, the goal is maturity. Siddhartha matures throughout the story by experiencing everything he believed to be wrong in life. He takes a lot of decisions throughout his journey to finally reach enlightenment.
Siddhartha begins his journey when he talks to Gautama (The Buddha). He wants Gautama to teach him how to find his inner self. He soon realizes that Gautama found enlightenment from own personal experiences, not through teachings. He realizes that his happiness relies on experiencing the world and that happiness can not be taught.
Siddhartha goes on to live the life of a gambler, lover, etc. He begins to do everything he believed to be wrong in his society. He becomes self-centered and greedy. He becomes part of the society that doesn’t care about what’s right or wrong. He is not pleased with how he lived his life in the village. At some point he wishes to kill himself because he feels that he wasted a lot of time living life the wrong way.
I think that Siddhartha matured the most after finding out he had a son. He is all of a sudden left with the charge of raising his child that he hasn’t met before. Unlike himself, his son is very rude and spoiled which didn’t make it easy raising him. Siddhartha gave him money and all of his attention but the unappreciative little brat left, never to be seen again. Siddhartha feels great pain after letting his son go but this pain allowed him to finally find enlightenment and his inner self.
Throughout his journey, the protagonist (Siddhartha) mature and finds experience just like a...