Archetypes in Siddhartha

889 WordsDec 4, 20004 Pages
In analyzing the novel Siddhartha, we find that Herman Hesse has incorporated many literary techniques to relay his message to the reader. By using various writing approaches to convey the theme of the novel, Hesse appeals to the readers' senses and aides them in grasping the novel. Included in these techniques are symbolism, metaphor, allusion, and archetypes. He compares many issues that Siddhartha faces to everyday objects and forces, making the novel easier to understand. Three of the main archetypes Hesse uses to get his point across are trees, rivers, and sleep. One of the more obvious symbols used in the novel is a tree. Cross-culturally, it is extremely common for trees to represent wisdom. In Hebrew literature, when…show more content…
In several instances is the novel, Siddhartha falls asleep (the reader should also note that this usually occurs under a tree) and wakes up anewed with a new outlook on life. "Then he had fallen asleep, and on awakening he looked at the world like a new man.... Never had a sleep so refreshed him, so renewed him, so rejuvenated him!" (76) Just as in the traditional English story A Christmas Carol, where Scrooge goes to bed and wakes up a new man after a series of nightmares, many authors have used the metaphor of sleep to show emotional growth in their characters. Another case in point is Kate Chopin's book on a woman's self-discovery appropriately titled The Awakening. Just like these authors, Hesse proves to be no stranger to this choice of symbolism. He illustrates quite effectively and allows the reader to notice and reflect on Siddhartha's personal development on more than one level. It is easy to see that many cross-cultural themes were brought into Siddhartha. Through writing on more than one level, Hesse has created a literary masterpiece that is extremely deep and meaningful. The application of the symbols he chose makes some of the themes in the novel easier to see and decipher. Using the archetypes that he did makes the novel one that many civilizations will read and understand for generations to come. Works Cited Hesse, Hermann. Siddhartha. New York: New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1951.

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