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by Herman Hesse

Dissatisfaction Theme

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

  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 circumstance.

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