Essay on The Importance of Sacrifice in Hesse’s Siddhartha

Essay on The Importance of Sacrifice in Hesse’s Siddhartha

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Pablo Picasso once said, “Every positive value has its price in negative terms.” When a person is in search of “the good life,” it is inevitable that sacrifices must be made in order to attain that favorable end goal. What these people sacrifice, or their “cost of the good life,” can take many different forms. Contrary to popular belief, a cost could potentially affect one’s emotional and physical status, and not just one’s economic status. A cost could even take a toll on society as a whole. Regardless of the desired goal, all sacrifices bring about risks that one must take into consideration when deciding if it is still appropriate or realistic to continue to pursue the good life. Often times, when in search of the good life, people’s reasoning and rational thought becomes less influential in the decision making process since the reward could be so great. People are willing to go to great lengths to achieve the good life, and they may even avoid logic in order to bring themselves to sacrifice a great deal as a result. The different ways in which people sacrifice due to their own reasoning or lack of reasoning in search of the good life are the necessary costs that must be paid in order to successfully achieve the good life.
The concept of sacrifice due to arguably poor reasoning in search of the good life is perfectly portrayed throughout the novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. In it, the protagonist Siddhartha overcomes a number of emotional and physical sacrifices until he finally accomplishes absolute enlightenment as his journey comes to an end. At the start of the novel, Siddhartha, a young man and the son of the Brahmin, decides that the society to which his family belongs does not provide all the teachings n...


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... Noggle through the message sent by Barbie and Ken dolls, it is understandable why people might stretch their logical thinking in order to achieve success. While most people would not abandon their home and family or starve themselves under any circumstances, Siddhartha is more than willing to take these risks and to sacrifice if it means becoming enlightened and finding perpetual happiness. Similarly, although Anna Noggle is extrinsically motivated, she too is willing to risk her health and behave irrationally in order to remain young looking and externally beautiful. Reason creates the sacrifices that equate to the costs necessary to achieving the good life.





Work Cited
Hesse, Hermann. Siddhartha. Germany: New Directions, 1922. Print.

Prager, Emily. "Our Barbies, Ourselves." Interview (1991): Print.

Noggle, Anne. Face-Lift No.3. 1975. Photograph

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