Siddhartha
Siddhartha
by Herman Hesse
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The Ferryman

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

This coveted job requires six interviews, a designer suit, and your dad’s golf buddy putting a good word. OK, so we were lying about that. Being the ferryman requires a desire for enlightenment. Because crossing the river suggests progression towards enlightenment, the ferryman holds an important position in aiding travelers. Once Vasudeva passes into Nirvana, Siddhartha takes on the job of ferrying passengers. Shortly thereafter, he literally ferries Govinda across the river, and symbolically ferries him to enlightenment.

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