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Symbolism And Symbolism In Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha

Decent Essays
The novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse uses a lot of symbolism, one of the prominent symbols that Hesse uses in the novel is the songbird. The songbird is representative of Siddhartha and his feelings about himself. Siddhartha feels trapped and unhappy in a materialistic world where nothing holds any meaning to him. Other characters such as Kamala see him as a songbird as well as something they can keep. Siddhartha is a constant wanderer, never being able to stay in one place for long and always searching for something new to learn. Siddhartha leaves his home as a teenager to join the shramanas and to learn their wisdom. He stays with the shramanas for quite some time until he realizes that he no longer could learn anything from them. Then Siddhartha leaves from the shramanas to go seek out the Buddha with Govinda. After meeting the Buddha, Siddhartha realizes that trying to teach wisdom is useless for him so he leaves his childhood best friend, Govinda, with the Buddha to seek who he truly was. Then in the city he meets a beautiful woman named Kamala who he tries to learn love and what it is like to be a normal human in society from. After many years with her, and becoming stagnant does Siddhartha realize that he needs to go out into the world and find who he truly is again to become happy. Eventually Siddhartha is able to settle at a river which is in constant movement. Across cultures birds have always been associated with freedom because of their ability to go anywhere
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