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siddhartha

Siddhartha, translated by Hilda Rosner.New York: Bantam Books. 1971. Pp. 152. $4.99.A DEEPER MEANING by Josh ShulmanMany books have great stories to tell. A lot have a deep message to convey. Siddhartha however, is a unique book. Though simple in its style, it is deep in meaning. One can take in its plot and get out of it a good story. On the other hand one can read deeper into it and try to find meaning from the story. Hermann Hesse somehow manages to tell something to the reader that is much deeper than the words he writes on the page. Perhaps it is the words he chooses that helps readers relate to Siddhartha. Maybe its the dreamlike feeling one gets after reading the book, partially due to how time is not linear in it. Whole years pass without notice, then just a day or two are focused on. This shows how Hesse is less concerned with the specific details of events or their times, but rather how they affect Siddhartha and what he gains from them. There is a theme of individuality that is developed through the course of the book. As Siddhartha becomes more of an individual, realizing he has to seek enlightenment on his own and for himself, he becomes more at peace and closer to his goal.As a boy, Siddhartha was a promising Brahmin. His father was very proud of him and loved him deeply. Siddhartha was intelligent and thirsty for knowledge and was seen by his father as a great learned man, a priest, a prince among Brahmins (4). He had taken part in the learned mens conversations, had engaged in debate with his deer and close friend Govinda, and had practiced the art of contemplation and meditation with him. Siddhartha made others happy just to see the hope and promise in him. He himself however, was not happy. Seeing his father whose thoughts Siddhartha believed were fine and noble and who he saw as a blameless man going to wash away his sins daily, when he obviously didnt have any, made Siddhartha think that his fa...

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