by Herman 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 goal: 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
- Why does Siddhartha experience greater dissatisfaction with his teachers than Govinda does?
- Is dissatisfaction essential for enlightenment?
- Is Kamaswami doomed to eternal dissatisfaction?
Chew on This
Siddhartha’s dissatisfaction is completely internal and has nothing to do with external circumstance.