Siddhartha
Siddhartha
by Herman Hesse

Siddhartha Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Wisdom and Knowledge

In Siddhartha, knowledge is differentiated from wisdom in that knowledge is rather run-of-the-mill and wisdom is prized. Knowledge can be transmitted from teacher to pupil, and it’s useful, b...

Spirituality

In Siddhartha, spirituality is closely linked to wisdom. Those that have achieved enlightenment are also wise. Spirituality is also akin to the Holy Grail in Siddhartha because it’s very, ver...

Man and the Natural World

The main characters in Siddhartha are able to attain enlightenment by developing and refining their relationships with nature. The natural world also represents a middle road between asceticism (wh...

Language and Communication

This relates to – guess what – knowledge in Siddhartha. While knowledge can be conveyed using words, and such communication is necessary and useful, it is inherently deceptive. The wise...

Time

For some characters in Siddhartha, time doesn’t exist. After listening to the river, Siddhartha’s biggest insight is that time is an illusion, and that life is not a continuum of events...

Love

Love is tricky in Siddhartha. On one hand, Siddhartha’s worldly love for his son presents the most formidable challenge to his spiritual progression in the novel, so love is bad. On the other...

Mortality

Death? Not a big deal, says Siddhartha. The novel portrays death as ultimately insignificant – enlightenment is much more important. We see Siddhartha abuses his body in an effort to attain e...

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 jo...

Need help with College?