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Siddhartha: Book Review

Deanna Weldon

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In the astonishing novel, “Siddhartha”, by Hermann Hesse, a young man by the name of Siddhartha leaves his family behind in an attempt to proceed on a journey of self-discovery. “Hermann Hesse was a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. Born on July 2, 1877 in the Black Forest Town of Calw in Wurttemberg. In 1946, he received a Nobel Prize in Literature. He writes stories that explore and individual’s authenticity, self-knowledge, and spirituality(Wikipedia).”

Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha explores the struggle of the soul to see beyond the illusions of humankind and achieve a deeper wisdom through spirituality. Born into wealth and privilege, he leaves his family to wander the countryside of India in search of meaning. Siddhartha runs into some problems along the way and because of this he learns about himself.

Siddhartha takes place in India during the life of Buddha, estimated to be around 625 B.C. Siddhartha is broken down into two parts, the first part being about the Brahmin’s Son and the second part being about Kamala. Siddhartha is a young Brahmin, handsome and learned, with a potential to be successful and follow in his father’s footsteps. Part 1 is about Siddhartha attempting to persuade his father into letting him leave home on a spiritual journey of self-discovery. One evening after meditating, Siddhartha announces to friend Govinda that he will join a group of Samanas.

“The divisions of Siddhartha correspond to the Buddha’s doctrine. The first part of the book is broken down into four chapters that evoke the Four Noble Truths, which are the Buddha’s basic teachings and concern the necessity of suffering in life, and the next eight chapters evoke the Eightfold Path, which details how to end the suffering described in the Four Noble Truths.(Sparknotes).

Siddhartha is not only a book that awakens spiritual thought, but a book that gives multiple life lessons.

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student newspaper of Hobart High School
Siddhartha: Book Review