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.
Siddhartha

Siddhartha

  

by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha Themes

Siddhartha Themes

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 while it’s useful,...

Spirituality

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

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 while such communication is necessary and useful, it is inherently deceptive. The wisest char...

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, but ins...

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 han...

Mortality

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

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...

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement