Siddhartha Essay

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Siddhartha Essay

Siddhartha is an award winning novel that is extremely well recognized throughout the literature community. It was written by Nobel Prize winner, Hermann Hesse, who was greatly influenced by eastern philosophy. During his formative years he was immersed in eastern culture, primarily Buddhism. This influence ultimately led Hesse to create the inspiring novel, Siddhartha. This novel was a milestone in sharing eastern philosophies with the western world. Throughout the novel Hermann Hesse illustrates the Buddhist outlook on life; highlighting key Buddhist principles. He accomplishes this through the story of Siddhartha and his journey to enlightenment, the ultimate goal in eastern philosophy.

Throughout Siddhartha’s journey there were many significant events show casing different Buddhist ideals. One of which is when Siddhartha gave into the temptations and cravings of materialism, riches and phony success. Buddhism emphasizes just the opposite of this; that true happiness only exists without cravings and external satisfactions. Here Hesse displays Siddhartha’s fall to humanly desires and his entrapment in the materialistic cycle of gain and loss, “Property, possessions and riches had also finally trapped him. They were no longer a game and a toy; they had become a chain and a burden” (Hesse 63). At this point in Siddhartha’s path he has strayed away from true happiness. As he continues to pursue materialist gain and recover from losses his happiness continues to diminish. The Buddhist belief that true happiness only exists without cravings is proven here through Siddhartha. He is unable to achieve happiness because the materialistic drive pushes him to always want more, leaving him dissatisfied and unhappy with what he already has. Hesse goes further to illustrate this trap by stating: He won thousands, he threw thousands away, lost money, lost jewels, lost a country house, won again, lost again. He loved the anxiety, that terrible and...
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