In Herman Hess's, Siddhartha, Siddhartha's constant growth and spiritual evolution is elucidated through the symbolism of the snake, the bird and the river. As a snake sheds it's skin in order to continue its physical growth, Siddhartha sheds the skins of his past: " he realized that something had left him, like the old skin a snake sheds/ Something was no longer with him, something that had accompanied him right through his youth and was a part of him" (37). In this way Siddhartha leaves his childhood companion, Govinda, and follows the teachings of the Illustrious one. Siddhartha then journeys on alone and feels vulnerable as his past reveals his lost soul, " I was afraid, I was fleeing from myself
" (38). Siddhartha eagerly gathers himself and ventures on to explore alternative religions. He no longer relies on his past, his Samana upbringing and heritage, "Immediately he moved on again and began to walk quickly and impatiently, no longer homeward, no longer to his father, no longer looking backwards" (42). Once Siddhartha is rid of his past, he continues the lifelong journey of samasarah, in which he eventually discovers himself. Subsequently, he ventures out into the world and explores his senses in a desperate attempt to investigate his spiritual needs. He greets love openly and rests satisfied by the splendors his lover Kamalah. Siddhartha's contentment is terminated as he is presented with a controversial dream. He dreams that Kamala's beloved bird is found dead: " The bird, which usually sang in the morning, became mute and as this surprised him, he went up to the cage and looked inside/ The little bird was dead" (82). Siddhartha's freedom from religion and promiscuous behaviors cease along with the birds death, " he felt horror and death in his heart/ He sat and felt himself dying, withering, finishing" (82). He recognizes the materialistic things including love itself, were insufficient: "Then Siddhartha knew that the game was finished, that he...
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