Self-Discovery and Its Discontents: Siddhartha's Journey 11th Grade

Hermann Hesse’s novel Siddhartha attempts to tell the story of one man’s journey to enlightenment. Siddhartha, a young Brahmin, leaves his comfortable home and family in order to learn more about himself. Throughout his journey, he overcomes many obstacles, meets many people, and has many experiences that contribute to his becoming the individual he wants to be. At the end, Siddhartha thinks that he has found himself, but really he has lost so many parts of himself during this process. Despite the many unrealistic things Siddhartha does, his commitment to finding himself and bettering himself, in his mind, is praiseworthy. He is repeatedly in situations in which he feels like giving up because he has not reached his goal yet, but then again he never does. Unfortunately, the ways in which Siddhartha attempts to find himself are unreasonable and cause him to lose beneficial qualities that he possessed before his journey. If this is a story about finding yourself, it is in many ways problematic.

In order to find himself, Siddhartha made it his goal to eliminate all contact with reality and to purge every desire for people, things, and even basic needs such as food, shelter, and sleep. He became aware of a group, the samanas, that...

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