Influence of Societal Expectation in Hunger and Siddhartha Essay

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Societal expectations play momentous roles in character development in Hamsun’s Hunger and Hesse’s Siddhartha. Societal expectations derive from the origins of the individuals in the society who create authority and code of conduct for the people to obey and follow (based on their own morals). Both novels uncover the character development of the protagonists yet the authors approach these themes in different manners. Hamsun follows the hero’s path through an unforeseen destiny of solitude and weariness allowing the hero to find no place among the society. His journey of struggle within the society faces the hero to make certain decisions that readers question as either rational or irrational decisions. Whereas in Hesse’s, the …show more content…
“The food began to bother me, my stomach felt upset, and I would not be able to hold the food down very long.”(135) This suggests that, the narrator’s own physical body is refusing to settle with the food possibly serves as a metaphor that like the narrator, the food too doesn’t allow itself to adjust to the environment, and revolve around certain forces controlling their actions. The influence of society made the protagonist endure severe deprivation of food, the fact that living under a society that expects the protagonist to have a job and earn money forces the protagonist to live under a “cycle of life.” This being, the author represents the protagonist as with the irony of life, where the protagonists needs to work to eat, but has no food therefore works harder to eat more but continues until his sense of thoughts and his rational skills have been altered “but my brain sank deeper in chaos” (79). Siddhartha follows his journey through various changes in pace and mood, as he enters the samsara as a samana or one without possessions, he believes he can “think, wait, and fast”(64). Yet Siddhartha’s previous upbringing as a Brahmin and a samana, he refuses to accept the materialistic wealth “his heart was not in business”. (69) Yet his need to please Kamala, his love teacher, he needs to earn money therefore, by earning money he pleases Kamala “It (business) was useful in order to bring him money for