Essay on "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse

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Alex Millard
Mr. Ammer
English II Honors
September 26, 2012
Siddhartha

The important decisions one makes throughout a lifetime; those decisions that strive towards a coveted goal, possess purpose. In Herman Hesse’s book, Siddhartha, the main character named Siddhartha embarks on a life journey striving for enlightenment. Throughout Siddhartha’s life journey, the three most predominant events are the excitement of meeting the Buddha that quickly fades into a realization of great contribution to his search, his enchanting encounters with Kamala, and his time spent with the river and Vasudeva who ultimately reveal the path to enlightenment.

The character Gotama, also known as the Buddha or the Illustrious One, is what entices Siddhartha to leave the Samanas and what opens Siddhartha’s eyes to a truth about his self-searching journey. For many years now Siddhartha’s life was that of an ascetic Samana; a beggar, wandering through town after town, rejecting the senses and emotions of the meaningless lies of the world. Following the path of self-denial through pain, Sidhartha excels greatly in his new spiritual way of life and even surpasses his once teachers, and yet… He still thirsts for knowledge, for more. Siddhartha realizes that if he intends on following the Samana way his entire life, he’ll never reach enlightenment, never move forward. Boredom takes over his ritualistic life. Rumors that emerge talking of a man who has reached enlightenment, reignites a spark in Siddhartha that once burned for the Samana life. The excitement of the news of Buddha is enough to convince Siddhartha to depart from the Samanas and seek this miraculous enlightened man. Upon arriving at Gotama’s camp of followers, Siddhartha happens upon Gotama himself in the grove. Siddhartha expresses his admiration of the enlightened man along with his concerns of becoming a follower, “You have learned nothing through teachings, and so I think, O Illustrious One, that nobody finds...
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