by Herman Hesse
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Children and Childishness

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Children appear frequently in Siddhartha, often in comparisons to awakened or enlightened individuals. Children symbolize clarity of perception, simplicity, and wonder. They are also associated, however with absorption in the material world of passion and suffering. Siddhartha is once described as "[seeing] people live in a childish or animal-like way which he both loved and despised." (5.37) Children are thus associated with both the best and the worst of human tendencies.

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