Siddhartha Essays: Form, Style, and Content

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Form, Style, and Content in Siddhartha

Joseph Mileck asserts in Hermann Hesse: Life and Art that Siddhartha is a perfect exemplification of what he calls, "conscious craftsmanship". For Mileck, Hesse consciously synchronized form and substance in Siddhartha to best illustrate a feeling of unity and the journey through the mind, body, and soul. In Siddhartha, Hesse consciously crafted a piece that is unified in form, style, and content, and created an atmosphere in which each one of these elements is perfectly complementary with the others.

In order to communicate most accurately the inner journey of Siddhartha through the three stages of experience, Hesse maintains appropriate rhythm and form throughout the novel. In
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Hesse also uses the symbolism of the river to unify Siddhartha's experiences. The river serves as a separation between the experiences of the mind and the spirit on the one side, and the experiences of the body and the senses on the other. However, while the river serves as a seeming separation between these two "lands", and "experiences", the river also serves as the unifying principle in that the experiences of the soul are located at the river's edge, "between life's two extremes". It is the river, which before served as an apparent division, which ultimately teaches Siddhartha the most important lesson of all - the unreality of time and the illusion of division.

Hesse also consciously employs certain mechanisms of style to exemplify Siddhartha's inner states. Hesse throughout the novel uses a characteristic triple rhythm. "Each of the three stages of Siddhartha's life, reflective of the three realms of experience, comprises an endless series of three-beat actional patterns. "For example, sentences frequently consist of sequences of three words, three phrases, of three clauses, and sometimes of combinations of two or even all of these triads.

This can be seen in the very first sentence of the novel when Hesse writes, "In the shade of the house, in the
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