Themes In Siddhartha Essay Research Paper THEMES

Themes In Siddhartha Essay, Research Paper



The major theme of Siddhartha is that happiness comes from

spiritual peace. Throughout the novel, the protagonist seeks such

peace, which is finally achieved through several different stages

of life. The first stage is that of an orthodox Brahmin’s son. In this

stage, he reads the scriptures and performs ritualistic sacrifice.

The second is an ascetic stage in which he practices the Samana

austerity of self-denial. In the third stage he is caught in the vortex

of the material desires of the world, Samsara. The final stage is

that of self-realization achieved in the presence of Vasudeva, the

ferryman. It is through this cycle that Siddhartha discovers the

path to salvation, but what is most important is that he undertakes

this path on his own. His inner, spiritual peace is singular in



A minor theme is that love, both parent/child and male/female, is

important. Parental love is treated in developing the relationship

between Siddhartha and his father and is later paralleled by the

relationship between Siddhartha and his son. The tension which

arises between these relations is also the cause of a deep, abiding

love between the parent and the child. In contrast, the relationship

between Siddhartha and Kamala, the courtesan, is limited by its

physical nature and is, therefore, unfulfilling, for it is not based on

love. Only when a man and woman base their relationship upon a

deep, abiding love does it become permanent and rewarding.

Another minor theme explored in the novel is that friendship is

very important. It is seen in the early part of the novel in the

friendship between Siddhartha and Govinda, his long-time friend.

In the second part of the novel this theme is developed in the

friendship between Siddhartha and Vasudeva, the ferryman, who

initiates him into the mysteries of spiritual life and whom

Siddhartha becomes one with in thoughts and goals.



The dominant mood in Siddhartha is that of joy arising out of

contemplation and fulfillment. It is a serene world that the author

creates, one of thought and discovery of the mysteries of life. It

also has an exalted feel to it, almost Biblical, in its tightly crafted

prose and sense of timelessness. Time in the novel is compressed

and extended; years may pass with no further development than

that it is passing and then a moment will be extended for pages.

Time in the novel does not parallel reality and contributes to the

mood of peacefulness.


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