Fiction Analysis: Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

The last time I read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse was a little over a year ago. My opinion of the book at the time respect and reverence. Perhaps because I was at a transitory stage in my life, or maybe because my life is more stable now, but the spiritual journey depicted in Siddhartha did not impress when I read it this week as it had a year ago. Herman Hesse’s use of simile, at first, delighted me but I quickly became inundated with them. Hesse also deals a bit in cliche which is a personal peeve.

Despite how it seems, I still enjoyed the book, this time around I simply was awakened to its inherent flaws (no work is, in its entirety, perfect). The journey although having less impact a second time around, carries with it essential themes for navigating through life. I will continue to recommend this novel.

“Siddhartha had begun to feel the seeds of discontent within him. He had begun to feel that the love of his father and mother, and also the love of his friend Govinda, would not always make him happy, give him peace, satisfy and suffice him.”

Not an entirely literary quote but of significance. We glorify love, and though it can make an individual happy (it has certainly made me happy), it can’t be the sole source of satisfaction. Love is powerful but don’t crave the love of others.

“The Brahmin was silent so long that the stars passed across the small window and changed their design before the silence in the room was finally broken.”

This is my favorite grab from this book. The image here is exceedingly vivid in my mind. I picture constellations in the starts morphing and shape-shifting into other shapes with which someone could pick out shapes like one would do with clouds. “Design” also might imply intention possibly hinting at God, and though I am not religious myself I have to at least consider the meaning and intention if God was implied, the intention of course would be grand.

“… and yet his life had been much more wretched and poorer than theirs, for their aims were not his, nor their sorrows his.”

I’ll leave you with the quote above. My path and whatever path you might be on will not be the same, and our aims will be entirely different. We cannot judge the path of others based on our own own ambitions. All our final destinations are different, as too will be the path there.

I enjoyed reading Siddhartha and I hope you enjoyed my review of it as well. If you have any suggestions for a book to read next please leave it below and I’ll put it on my Goodreads list to read.

3 thoughts on “Fiction Analysis: Siddhartha by Herman Hesse”

  1. Very interesting analysis of Hesse’s work. I liked your thoughts at the end – very insightful. It’s been many years since I’ve read Siddhartha, but you’ve motivated me to dig up my old copy and give it a go.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hesse was very much a man who understood what society is. My own favourite of his is ‘Das Glasperlenspiel’ – The Glass Bead Game. But that pokes a little fun at the very things that Siddartha exemplifies.

    It asks the question: why would one want to sit so still that one can see the stars move across the sky.

    It doesn’t speak of how hard it is to keep that concentration without your mind wandering.

    Liked by 1 person

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