Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha tells the story of a young man who sets out in search of his true self. Throughout the novel, Siddhartha continues to search for the true meaning of life. He sacrifices everything, almost to the point of self-destruction, before finding what he is really looking for. The element of conflict helps build the plot and leads to the turning point, Siddhartha's discovery. Siddhartha faces conflicts with his peers, his religion, and himself.
Siddhartha has several conflicts between himself and his peers. Despite Govinda's love and adoration, Siddhartha knows that he must tell his friend to move on. Siddhartha also meets Kamala, who lessens his character by teaching him to gamble and lust. Siddhartha also encounters Vasudeva, the ferryman, who teaches Siddhartha to listen to the river's voices. Throughout his journey, Siddhartha faces conflicts with his peers.
Siddhartha also struggles from a religious conflict. He begins his life as a Brahmin, but because of his dissatisfaction, left the religion in hope of finding something more. As a result, Siddhartha becomes a Samana, though later realizing that spirit alone cannot bring complete fulfillment. Finally, Siddhartha escapes from structured religion, discovering his fulfillment and happiness. Siddhartha ultimately solves this recurring dilemma.
Siddhartha's final conflict remains an internal struggle. Dissatisfied and determined, Siddhartha searches to fill his spiritual void. Despite his many failed attempts, he refuses to give up. Nothing seems to completely fulfill him until meeting Vasudeva and listening to the river. Though this internal conflict continues through the majority of the novel, the main character finally finds a solution.
During his journey, Siddhartha must overcome these conflicts. While some of them are negative, others prove to be for the best. As a result of his struggles, Siddhartha learns that happiness is not found through intellect, spirit, or commerce alone. True happiness comes from inner peace and fulfillment.
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