Essay: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

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Essay: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Sample Essay

ABSTRACT

This is the story of a boy, Siddhartha who spends almost all his life as he tries to understand the true meaning of life. Once he settles in one faith and realizes that nobody can help him the he leaves to look for other alternatives. He leaves home with his best friend, Govinda in their quest but they separate on the way as his friend is contended with the teachings of the Buddha. In the end, he finds enlightenment in the teachings of the river, which he is offered by a ferryman by the name of Vasudeva.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

A German wrote the novel Siddhartha by the name of Hermann Hesse, which is about the spiritual journey of a boy by the name of Siddhartha. The boy was from India subcontinent at the era of the Buddha. It was initially done in German in the year 1922 after Hesse had stayed in India during the 1910s. It was translated into English in the year 1950 whereby it was published in the US becoming a hit in the 1960s. It is a dedication to Romain Rolland, whom Hesse refers to as “my dear friend.” The name Siddhartha is derived from the Sanskrit language whereby it is made up of two words. Siddha means achieved, (Brooks 167), whereas artha stands for wealth or meaning. When the two are combined, they mean one who has found the meaning of life or one who has attained his goals. In this narrative, Buddha is referred to as Gotama. The fact that Hesse grew up in a religious family influenced him a lot into writing this religious novel.

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