Essay on The Themes of Siddhartha

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The Themes of Siddhartha

There are two themes developed in Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.

One theme is that people can teach religious doctrine, but it may not lead one to find

one's true inner "self". The other theme is that knowledge can be taught,

but wisdom comes from experience. The main character, Siddhartha, came to

these understandings during his glorious journey to find spiritual


In order to find his "self", Siddhartha undertook a quest that was

split into four main parts. These parts include: understanding, escape

from "self", knowledge of "self", and wisdom, (enlightenment). The first

part, understanding, involved him living with his father
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Siddhartha soon found out that he was, in fact, going in circles. He saw

that he was not gaining any knowledge from temporary escape but he would

come back and find everything as it was before. This caused him not to

believe in the Samana's practices and eventually resulted in Siddhartha

leaving the Samanas to find spiritual enlightenment elsewhere.

The third part in Siddhartha's quest was the knowledge of "self".

This was after he had met and spoken to Gotama, the Illustrious Buddha. He

spoke to him about his concerns for finding the "self". Siddhartha thought

that if he were to just follow the teachings and not experience them for

himself that he would deceive himself into believing that he was at peace

when he actually wasn't. He decided to leave his friend and find his "self"

the way Gotama had, through experience. It was afterwards when he was on

his own when he had his spiritual awakening. He discovered that the reason

he didn't know anything about himself was due to one thing--he was afraid

of himself. From then on he saw the world differently. He would no longer

destroy himself to find a secret behind it. He would learn for himself the

secret of Siddhartha. He started anew and learned about things that had

always been there but he had never paid attention to. This new beginning

would lead him to a river where he would
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