Essay on Hermann Hesse’s Disillusionment With Society Revealed in Siddhartha

Essay on Hermann Hesse’s Disillusionment With Society Revealed in Siddhartha

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World War 1 left Europe in a state of chaos, scarring millions mentally and physically. The generation that survived the war would have trouble adjusting to the post war world. Lost generation writers trying to capture the essence of the post world war are disillusioned with tradition and culture. Siddhartha, written by Hermann Hesse in the aftermath of the Great War, reflects a loss in trust of power, society, and tradition (Borbély, Stefan). This is similar to the tradition of the Lost Generation writers such as Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemmingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In the beginning of WWI in 1914,(Quinn, Edward) Hermann Hesse worked in a German medical corps. Disillusioned, he wrote Oh Friends, Not These Tones!, a book opposed to German nationalism. Committing himself to humanitarian work, Hesse soon left service. He traveled to places like Indonesia and Sri Lanka where Buddhism influenced him. In 1922 he wrote Siddhartha about a young man who travels around disillusioned and disoriented and seeking enlightenment (Borbély, Stefan). He wrote this in the tradition of the Lost Generation by utilizing such themes as lost, disillusioned, no conformity, breaking away from tradition, skeptical of all authority, seeking pleaser, and dissatisfaction.
Tensions over territory were high between the great powers; France, Italy, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Britain and Russia, making alliances with each other saying who they would side with if war would break out. With tensions high with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was killed by Serbian nationalists. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and called great powers with who alliances and treaties. On July 28, 1914, Austria invaded Serbia setting in motion all t...


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... not going around in circles they are going up a winding stare case they are making progress even when it seems that they are failing. Siddhartha with the Sammans practices dissatisfaction, “A goal stood before Siddhartha, a single goal: to become empty, empty of thirst, empty of wishing, empty of dreams, empty of joy and sorrow. Dead to himself, not to be a self any more, to find tranquility with an emptied heard, to be open to miracles in unselfish thoughts, that was his goal. Once all of my self was overcome and had died, once ever desire and every urge was silent in the heart, then the ultimate part of me had to awake, the innermost of my being, which is no longer my self, the great secret. (2.3) Siddhartha is depriving himself of life to achieve nirvana. He has one goal to be so dissatisfied with life that he can feel life again in the next stage of life.



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