Innocence In Siddhartha

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In the novel, Siddhartha, Hesse employs the cycle of life to convey the struggles to achieve a goal. At the beginning of the novel, Siddhartha innocently desires to gain more knowledge. His immense curiosity causes him to sin and feel guilt which then makes him fall into despair. This despair gives him the power to understand other individuals and finally achieve salvation. The dominant idea conveyed throughout the novel is the idea that everything and every person follows a cycle. The book begins with innocence like the start of every individual's life. Siddhartha, “the handsome son of the Brahmin” (5), innocently asks his father for permission to become a shramana. He knew nothing of the outside world; he only had knowledge of the lessons…show more content…
The transition of Siddhartha's innocence to guilt is also mirrored by the book because after the novel went from introducing the protagonist to introducing the conflict. He “learn[ed] love from the loveliest of women” (50), Kamala. Through Kamaswami, he “learned how to do business,[and] how to wield power over people” (62). When he finally left the village, he wanted to end the life of his “foul and putrid body” (70) tainted with sins taught to him by Kamala and Kamaswami. The novel shows that ignorance can lead to sinning because the individuals are unaware of their actions. When Siddhartha finally realizes that he has sinned, he notices the filth that accumulated on him and the power that worldly desires had on his body and soul. In addition, Siddhartha felt guilt when he realized that his son had been “a spoiled child … accustomed to wealth”(93) and understood that the boy felt pain and sorrow rather than peace and happiness. Siddhartha did all the boy’s chores in order to lessen the pain the boy felt and to feel less guilt for not providing the boy with what he wanted. The pile of guilt creates…show more content…
At the climax of the novel, Siddhartha feels the most despair. He felt his life was worthless which made him want to "close [his] eyes, down toward death" (70). Siddhartha believed that he was the only one suffering. The guilt of satisfying worldly desires prevents him from connecting with his soul that was nothing but a “terrible emptiness [that] reflected toward him out of the water”(70). Siddhartha repeated this cycle of guilt to despair when he met his son. Initially, he believed that he could not love anyone, but when he met his son “he… had utterly become one of the child people, suffering because of a person, loving a person, lost in that love, a fool of love”(97). When his son left, he realized that when he left “his father, lonely, sorrowing over his son”(104) and now he too is “ longing for his distant son”(105). This endless cycle pushed him into despair that his destiny had already been decided for him instead of Siddhartha deciding what happens in his own life. After listening to a multiple voices from the river, he realizes that he is not alone and that other individuals are suffering just like

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