Symbols and Symbolism in Siddhartha - The Snake, the Bird and the River

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Symbols and Symbolism in Siddhartha - The Snake, the Bird and the River

In Herman Hess's, Siddhartha, Siddhartha's constant growth and spiritual evolution is elucidated through the symbolism of the snake, the bird and the river.

As a snake sheds it's skin in order to continue its physical growth, Siddhartha sheds the skins of his past: " he realized that something had left him, like the old skin a snake sheds/ Something was no longer with him, something that had accompanied him right through his youth and was a part of him" (37). In this way Siddhartha leaves his childhood companion, Govinda, and follows the teachings of the Illustrious one. Siddhartha then journeys on alone and feels vulnerable as his past reveals his lost soul, " I was afraid, I was fleeing from myself..." (38). Siddhartha eagerly gathers himself and ventures on to explore alternative religions. He no longer relies on his past, his Samana upbringing and heritage, "Immediately he moved on again and began to walk quickly and impatiently, no longer homeward, no longer to his father, no longer looking backw...

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