From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha Theme of Dissatisfaction

From Siddhartha’s yearning for spiritual growth in the first chapter to Govinda’s desperation for salvation in the last chapter, Siddhartha is fundamentally a novel about seeking and journeying. Unlike other novels, however, the dissatisfaction in Siddhartha has a particular solution: enlightenment. We see Siddhartha’s dissatisfaction with various modes of living, but he settles in the end for life as an enlightened ferryman. His dissatisfaction evaporates.

Questions About Dissatisfaction

  1. Why does Siddhartha experience greater dissatisfaction with his teachers than Govinda does?
  2. Is dissatisfaction essential for enlightenment?
  3. Is Kamaswami doomed to eternal dissatisfaction?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Siddhartha’s dissatisfaction is completely internal and has nothing to do with external circumstances.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...