Siddharta Essay

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Ted Brataj

Siddhartha Essay
Teachers are important figures in everyone’s life: they prepare for future events teaching lessons and giving suggestions. The book Siddhartha, written by the German author Herman Hesse, shows a perfect example of education and understanding given by different types of instructors. The protagonist, Siddhartha, is the son of a Brahmin, and he has an assured future as a religious figure. He is unhappy and unsatisfied in the beginning of the novel: he can’t find the right answer to his questions. He distrusts teachers, because they didn’t teach him the life lessons he wanted. He doesn’t think his actual life can lead him to nirvana, the maximum status of joy and understanding of the self. The following quote proves this statement: "Siddhartha had started to nurse discontent in himself; he had started to feel that the love of his father and the love of his mother, and also the love of his friend, Govinda, would not bring him joy for ever and ever, would not nurse him, feed him, satisfy him." (Hesse 5). He decides to embark in a journey to reach enlightenment, and during this spiritual path he learns some life lessons through persons considered nontraditional teachers, people who influenced his life, and taught him indirectly, such as Govinda, Kamala and Kamaswami. The first instructor that Siddhartha acquires knowledge from is Govinda, one of the most influential characters in the novel: Siddhartha’s best friend, companion and disciple. He is unlikely to be a teacher, mostly because of his follower behavior, but despite the reader’s opinion of him in the beginning, he reveals himself as one of the most important nontraditional teachers. The main feature of Govinda is the fact that he doesn’t choose his own path, he always is a follower. Hesse emphasizes Govinda’s status by defining him as a shadow: “Govinda wanted to follow him as a friend, his companion, his servant, his lance bearer, his shadow” (4-5). Initially he assists...
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