Influence of Societal Expectation in Hunger and Siddhartha Essay examples

Influence of Societal Expectation in Hunger and Siddhartha Essay examples

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Societal expectations play momentous roles in character development in Hamsun’s Hunger and Hesse’s Siddhartha. Societal expectations derive from the origins of the individuals in the society who create authority and code of conduct for the people to obey and follow (based on their own morals). Both novels uncover the character development of the protagonists yet the authors approach these themes in different manners. Hamsun follows the hero’s path through an unforeseen destiny of solitude and weariness allowing the hero to find no place among the society. His journey of struggle within the society faces the hero to make certain decisions that readers question as either rational or irrational decisions. Whereas in Hesse’s, the hero accepts the transformation from an aesthetic Siddhartha to a more self conscious character basing his needs on the materialistic pleasures. Siddhartha’s influence from the environment enables him to feel and understand his present surroundings of a society leading to his ultimate motive of Self realization and to break the cycle of life and achieve ultimate happiness.
Hamsun’s hero, the unnamed narrator in the novel Hunger, is a struggling character, always contemplating over his ideas and actions and often losing his sense of reality to his own illusionary world of his conscious “my deranged consciousness ran away with me and sent me lunatic inspirations” . The effect of having to create a character struggling within his own decision making skills has the audience to believe the protagonist has in a breaking point between sanity versus insanity. Yet under the society of Christiniana, under certain laws and rules that are to be followed, Hamsun creates a paradoxical character, ...


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... through a chaotic state. Yet in Hunger it is portrayed that human nature always strives to be in communities, but when a society is formed, there are always certain individuals as outcasts like the protagonist, who tend to fall under the influence of its society’s expectations. Their strive to have a place in the society follows up working too hard to reach the expectations of earning money for a materialistic value in the society, therefore allowing the protagonist to go in a state of insanity. Siddhartha follows society as a materialistic living and a need, the protagonist allows himself to go through against materialistic living, following the expectations of the society. He allows the materialism of earning money and have physical pleasures to reach his own journey to reach enlightenment through experience of having to understand how to let it out of his Self.

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