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by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha Chapter 7 Summary

  • As the years go by and Siddhartha accrues more and more wealth, his Samana-like qualities begin to fade.
  • They are replaced with more Material Girl-like qualities. He grows increasingly greedy, troubled by everyday problems, and unhappy. He feels trapped by pleasure, pain, and a sense of self-hatred.
  • Siddhartha engages in a lot of high-stakes gambling as way of expressing his hatred of wealth.
  • He feels himself and Kamala aging. He suddenly starts associating sex with death.
  • One evening, Siddhartha drinks heavily, watches dancers, and feels profoundly nauseated with himself. Finally, he falls asleep and dreams about a songbird that belongs to Kamala. In the dream, he finds the bird dead and he tosses it into the street.
  • He becomes scared that he has just tossed out all the goodness in himself.
  • In despair, Siddhartha recalls his life. He tries to remember the moments when he felt true joy and a sense of direction. He concludes that nothing in his life is of value to him. Even the pleasures of his shared passion with Kamala have worn off (and this is saying something… Kamala’s got skills). Everything has been a game to him.
  • He leaves his home and his riches.
  • Kamaswami sends people out to look for Siddhartha, thinking that he has been captured by robbers.
  • Kamala does not search for him. She knows Siddhartha is, at heart, a wandering Samana. She releases her songbird from its cage.
  • We learn Kamala is pregnant with Siddhartha’s child.

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