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by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha Theme of 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, it is ultimately unsatisfactory. Their approaches to knowledge are also the most important distinction between Siddhartha and Govinda. Siddhartha learns everything and goes, "Okay, now what?" while Govinda placidly continues to learn the proffered doctrine.

Questions About Wisdom and Knowledge

  1. In Siddhartha, is it essential to have knowledge in order to have wisdom?
  2. What kind of knowledge is valued in Siddhartha—carnal, financial, religious, or another? Is knowledge valued at all?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Siddhartha’s relationship with Kamala is that of teacher and student.

Knowledge is not valued in Siddhartha, only wisdom.

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