Hesse, Hermann – Siddhartha

  • the hero’s journey and the river. The book depicts the hero’s journey and can be read using the method of the river. The river is one of the important motifs of the book, along with the shadow, the smile, the kiss, the Om, the wound and so on. So, the book presents the life of a hero in search of the self. And this search could be seen, metaphorically, in at least two ways. On the one hand, the river could be seen as representing the whole story, the whole search for the self: any important event that is beginning in the life of Siddhartha is another meander of the river, another turning point. On the other hand, his life could be seen like a circle that is crossed, in two different points, by a river. The first four chapters represent, in this perspective, the world of mind. The following four chapters stand for the world of body. And the final chapters are depicting the world of spirit. So, the crossing of the river appears between the world of mind and the world of the body; and between the world of the body and the world of the spirit. When Siddhartha is crossing the river either the world of mind is ending, or the world of spirit is beginning. In a nutshell, Hermann Hesse is a writer that amplifies the ideas introduced by Carl Gustav Jung and further developed by many more followers like Joseph Campbell. These ideas could not be taught, only lived. And do not represent the only right way, but one of them. For those reasons they are symbols of wisdom.

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  • Hermann Hesse (2013): “Siddhartha”, Start Classics

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