The Pursuit of Happiness
Throughout Herman Hesse’s novel, Siddhartha, Siddhartha defines his own happiness and Siddhartha does not let anything beside himself dictate his happiness. Throughout his journeys, Siddhartha becomes enlightened because of the way he can so easily find happiness. Siddhartha proves this through his life decisions that go against the grain of “normal” decision making. Siddhartha throws ideas of money out the window if it is not what is going to make him happy. After a long journey, Siddhartha is finally able to find his happiness. Everybody is always scrambling for happiness; however, there are only few who can actually obtain happiness.
The story begins with the background of Siddhartha: son of a Brahmin, lots of friends, plenty of money and advantages in life. Yet, Siddhartha decides he wants to become a Samana. At this point in the story, Siddhartha is willing to do anything to get his father’s permission to become a Samana. Once he earns his father’s blessing, Siddhartha becomes a Samana and leaves behind all the advantages he had in life. This shows that Siddhartha is not ruled by material things. Siddhartha shows that making decisions solely on what will make him happy is the true way to find happiness. With no regard for money or pleasing others, many would call Siddhartha selfish; however, any happy person must be selfish because if a person is not fulfilling his or her needs then he or she is not truly happy. On the other side, if someone is fulfilling his or her needs, he or she is, in some ways, selfish. In chapter eight, Siddhartha raves and is elated over a simple night’s sleep: “What a wonderful sleep it had been! Never had sleep so refreshed him, so renewed him, so rejuvenated him! Perhaps he had really died, perhaps he had been drowned and was reborn in another form. No, he recognized himself, he recognized his hands and feet, the place where he lay and the Self in his breast, Siddhartha, self-willed,...
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