October 9th, 2013
The journey of enlightenment
The few first steps are the hardest in the universal journey of life. In Herman Hesse’s book, Siddhartha, the main character named Siddhartha sets out on a life-changing journey striving for enlightenment. Symbolism is used in the story to give a deep understanding of life and wisdom to the reader. Throughout the journey, Siddhartha encounters many events that help him achieve his self-goal. The river, Kamala’s songbird, and the smile are the most impacting symbols that guide Siddhartha to reach his enlightenment and inner peace
Siddhartha comes across the river multiple times in his journey towards enlightenment. During times of drastic change in his pilgrimage, such as when he banishes from the Semanas, and later on denies his wealth as his Semana strategies start to fade, Siddhartha arrives at the river once again. The river is an essential symbol representing unity, the eternity of all things in the universe, and the path to enlightenment. “That the river is everywhere at the same time…the present only exists for it… the river has many voices,” (Hesse, pg. 87-88). The river helps guide Siddhartha to the path of enlightenment, but does not grant him with it. The river acted as a guide when Siddhartha was ready to listen and attain his peace. The next symbol that represents Siddhartha’s enlightening is the release of Kamala’s songbird. One night Siddhartha had been drinking a little bit too much, and he began to feel ill, and slowly drifts away into his sleep. He started to dream about Kamala’s songbird, which is
representation of Siddhartha’s spirit. “The little bird was dead…then [he] threw it away on the road… and his heart...
Cited: Hesse, Hermann. Siddhartha;. [New York]: New Directions, 1951. Print.
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