Analysis of Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Siddhartha Analysis

I think it was interesting how Siddhartha and Buddha were completely different people in this story. I have always learned that Siddhartha had achieved enlightenment and then became Buddha; however this story puts a different perspective onto this. I think the reason behind this may be that it is trying to show the reader the actual battle of a person trying to become enlightened, and they needed someone to exemplify that enlightenment (Buddha) one was trying to achieve. The irony of this book was what really made it an excellent read, because it wasn’t a simple book but a life lesson. It taught the reader that the typical mindset isn’t always the right one; just as Siddhartha’s views of Hinduism.   It was also interesting to see that Siddhartha had almost everything he wanted: looks, wealth, respect, and a noble family. His Brahmin family had always implemented idealistic views onto him, yet he refused those clichés of idealism. He enjoys a near-idyllic existence with his best friend, Govinda, but is secretly dissatisfied. He continues to follow all the rituals that his family and religion says will bring happiness and peace. Nevertheless, he still feels like something is missing from his life, he doesn’t know what is missing though. His father and all the elders in his family and caste all act as if they are religious, yet have flaws and have not attained enlightenment; this was the predominant reason he left his family and religion behind.
Siddhartha thinks his father and the fellow Brahmins have tried to pass all their knowledge and wisdom, but he still feels as if something is lacking. So one day, a group of Samanas come through his town. They are so starved he can see their rib cages, and they come begging for food. They believe that enlightenment can be achieved by becoming a sanyassi and through asceticism. His father had never taught him anything close to what the Ascetics believed, they rejected all physical and material things....