Catcher and the Rye and Siddhartha

Topics: Difference, Life, Hermann Hesse Pages: 3 (986 words) Published: March 9, 2005
The novels Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger show many similarities. One of the major themes in both novels consists of the main characters finding their self and journey through life. Their similar experiences consist of the relationships they go through, as well as the different people they meet in life and their personal views on society, which let the audience distinguish the affect on similar situations.

Siddhartha's dream throughout the entire novel consisted of finding his own self, and to be united within the great Gods. "One must find the source within one's Self, one must possess it." (Hesse, pg.5) In his village many people admired him for his intellectual ability because he knew so much about finding peace and being at one with the universe. However, he always searched for a better world and a better understanding of the purpose of life. He knew the people in the village couldn't further his knowledge any more, and decided to leave his friends and family behind in a search of a better future. He experienced love and lust, as well as living amongst average people. He tried to understand why people behaved a certain way and always thought more deeply into life unlike everyone else. He tried having a family and being a merchant, however it did not satisfy him enough to stop searching. "A path lies before you which you are called to follow. The gods await you." (p.67). He continued listening to his heart and continued to walk through his life, until he came close to the river. Looking at the river, Siddhartha heard different kinds of voices; young and old, laughing and crying, which let him come to the conclusion that the river is continual no matter how close or how far it is. All of the voices combined the sound of "Om", which represented the unity of all things, universally linked to one soul. It let the audience know that Siddhartha had stopped desiring, and that he had no where else to go which signified that...
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