The Concept Of Enlightenment In Hermann Hesse's Sidddhartha

1020 Words5 Pages
The concept of knowledge has been essential to human nature for hundreds of years. It is innate to search for a purpose and a “why,” ultimately leading one towards self enlightenment. Hermann Hesse explores the concept of enlightenment through the use of word choice, setting, and character development, in his novel Siddhartha. Implementing these three elements throughout the novel allowed Hesse to successfully convey his stance on self and spiritual knowledge to his readers. Set in India during a time parallel to the life of Buddha, Siddhartha embarks upon an adventure to find spiritual enlightenment. This journey begins as an attempt for Siddhartha and his best friend, Govinda, to find the happiness they feel is missing in their current Brahmin religion. Leaving their village after encountering a group of Samanas, Siddhartha exposes himself to a new way of living. The Samanas practice the art of deprivement. Depriving themselves of food, water, and clothes, the ascetics believe they will reach enlightenment. Unfortunately for Siddhartha, he is still unhappy with himself and his surroundings. Leaving the Samanas behind, the two friends are welcomed into Savathi, a town charmed by the teachings of Buddha. Upon finding and learning from the Buddha, “The Illustrious One,” Govinda finally feels at peace. Nonetheless, Siddhartha is still dissatisfied. Feeling alone and confused, he once again takes off. The path he took ultimately led him to a life without meditation and

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