Essay on Plot Overview of Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha

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In this novel the protagonist of the story, Siddhartha, believes that the teachings of others will not allow you to reach Nirvana. Therefore, he sets out on a journey to experience the world for himself, the good and the bad, in order to become closer to enlightenment and to eventually become an enlightened one himself, a Buddha. After each experience Siddhartha comes to a new conclusion as his outlook on life changes, as he becomes closer to enlightenment. In the beginning of the book Siddhartha is already living in one extreme. He has a perfect life and is sheltered from all harm by his father, the Brahmin. He has plenty of food. He is loved and respected by all of the Brahmins. The women of his village all want him. He has everything …show more content…
He has allegedly attained total spiritual enlightenment, Nirvana. Siddhartha and Govinda decide to visit this holy man to see for themselves. They find Gotama and his followers and are welcomed to stay and to hear his teachings. They learn of the Eightfold Path, the Four Main Points, and other aspects of Buddhism. Govinda is convinced by Gotama's teachings and decides to stay, however, Siddhartha finds contradictions in the Buddha's teaching and does not believe that this path will lead to enlightenment. In truth, he begins doubt if any teaching will lead to true enlightenment. He leaves Govinda behind and begins his own quest for the meaning of life. He will make his own path. Siddhartha, now alone, goes from one extreme to the other. While with the Shramanas, he rejected all forms of pleasure and earthly desires. Now on his own path he begins to embrace them. In his travels he meets Vasudeva, a kind ferryman who takes him accoss the river at the price of nothing more than his friendship. Once across the river Siddhartha comes to a city. The first pleasure he decides to learn and indulge in is the pleasure of love. In this city he meets Kamala, a beautiful courtesan, who promises to teach him the art of love if he can prove that he can fit into the material world. She persuades him to become a merchant and introduces him to the richest