Comparing the Theme of Self-Discovery in Demian and Siddhartha Essay

Comparing the Theme of Self-Discovery in Demian and Siddhartha Essay

Length: 2401 words (6.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


  Literature reflects many aspects

 of human nature.  It can be seen as a

collection of mankind's thoughts.  The intangible is transformed from

brainwave patterns to ink patterns.  What leads to the writing of literature

varies from author to author.   In the case of Hermann Hesse, it was his

personal experiences in life.  In the novels Demian and Siddhartha, Hermann

Hesse was influenced by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, both psycho-analysts.    

A personal crisis, which caused Hesse to undergo psycho-analysis with Dr. J.B.

Lang, led to the writing of Demian in 1919.  His fascination with Eastern

cultures and his trip to India in 1922 directly resulted in the creation of

the novel Siddhartha.     The fundamental theme of self-discovery is evident

in both novels.  Self-discovery involves developing the mind,  experiencing

life, obtaining wisdom, learning about oneself, coming to an understanding and

acceptance of this, and by the end, discovering one's identity.  This theme of

self-discovery was important to Hesse because he experienced similar events in

life.  He was born in Germany in 1877 and raised in a Protestant household

with expectations to follow in the footsteps of his forefathers and become a

missionary.  He did not wish to do so, partly because he was interested in

Eastern religions.  This personal crisis of the questioning of fundamental

beliefs deeply affected Hesse.  In Demian he writes, "There is only one true

vocation for everybody - to find the way to himself." (Hesse, Demian, 1989,

p.120)  Through his struggles, he found that the road to self-discovery could

only be experienced firsthand and could not be e...


... middle of paper ...


...ld Literature. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1972.

 

13. Timpe, Eugene F. "Hesse's Siddhartha and the Bhagavad Gita". Comparative Literature, V.22 No.4 , 1970.

 

14. Walter, Soreil. Hermann Hesse The Man Who Sought and Found Himself. London: Oswald Wolff, 1974.

 

15. Wast, R.W. (Ed.). Modern German Authors New Series. (Vol.2).

 

16. Benet's Readers Encyclopedia Third Edition.  Toronto: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1987.

 

17. "Hesse, Hermann". The New Encyclopedia Britannica Micropedia, (Vol. 5),   Toronto: Encyclopedia  Britannica, Inc., 1990, p. 899.

 

18. "Nirvana". The World Book Encyclopedia, (Vol.14).   Toronto: World Book, Inc., 1987, p.332-333.

 

19. Twentieth Century Authors. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1942.

 

20. The Works of Hermann Hesse. Toronto: The Publishing Company Ltd., 1980.

 

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Man's Search for Meaning in Fight Club and Siddhartha Essay

- In 1922, Hermann Hesse set the youth of Germany free with the glorious peace of Siddhartha. Nearly a century later, Chuck Palahniuk opened the eyes of countless Americans with his nihilistic masterpiece, Fight Club. These two novels were written in different times, in different cultures, for different readers, and for different purposes. One is the poster child for love of self and nature; the other focuses on the destruction of both man and culture, yet the two hold a startling similarity in their underlying meaning, that in a darkening world of sin and distraction, letting go is the only true path to freedom, peace, and happiness....   [tags: Comparing Fight Club and Siddhartha]

Strong Essays
2411 words (6.9 pages)

Self-discovery in Siddhartha Essay

- Self-discovery in Siddhartha Siddhartha, the novel by Hermann Hesse is what can be included as one of the epitomes of allegorical literature. This wondrous novel is focused on the tribulations of Siddhartha through his quest for inner peace. He started out as a young Brahmin's son always thirsting for more intellect and perspective in his life and from there on he endured many transitions. Siddhartha let himself experience all forms of life in his society. He unhesitatingly learned more about how different people lived by stepping into their shoes....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]

Strong Essays
1113 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The Quest for Self Discovery in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha

- The Quest for Self Discovery in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha “Then he [Siddhartha] suddenly saw clearly that he was leading a strange life, that he was doing many things that were only a game, that he was quite cheerful and sometimes experienced pleasure, but that real life was flowing past him and did not touch him. Like a player who plays with his ball, he played with his business, with the people around him, watched them, derived amusement from them; but with his heart, with his real nature, he was not there” (Hesse 57-58)....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]

Strong Essays
776 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The Stages of Siddharta's Journey to Self Enlightenment

- Readers have been fascinated with Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha for decades. Written in 1951, Hesse’s most famous novel provides the reader with a work of literature that, “presents a remarkable exploration of the deepest philosophical and spiritual dimensions of human existence” (Bennett n.p). Siddhartha takes place in India while the Buddha has first began his teachings. The book follows the life of a man by the name of Siddhartha, on his journey to reach enlightenment. The main theme in Siddhartha is reaching enlightenment without the guidance of a teacher or mentor....   [tags: Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha Essays]

Strong Essays
1700 words (4.9 pages)

The Four Noble Truths in Siddhartha's Journey to Self-Enlightenment Essay

- Is it possible for Shakespeare to connect Othello to the Four Noble Truths. In Shakespeare’s words, “Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.”1 Shakespeare unintentionally connects the concept of his play Othello to the ancient concept of the Four Noble Truths: craving worldly pleasures only leads one to suffer. The Four Noble Truths provide a conceptual framework to Buddhist principles; they contain the essence of Buddhist teachings. Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha deals with Siddhartha’s spiritual journey of self-discovery during the time of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism....   [tags: Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha Essays]

Strong Essays
1782 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Siddharta's Journey to Self Enlightenment

- In Siddhartha written by Hermann Hesse the protagonist, Siddhartha, explores different beliefs in order to achieve enlightment with the hardships of losing himself along the way. Siddhartha’s journey for enlightment teaches him a great lesson of being able to identify who he is and discover his own beliefs in order to achieve enlightment. Siddhartha began his youth as a Brahman with potential to be one of the greatest in the community because of how simple it is for him to grasp certain concepts....   [tags: Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha Essays]

Strong Essays
649 words (1.9 pages)

Siddhartha's Journey of Self-Actualization in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha

- In “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha is put to the test to find inner enlightenment while trying to discover himself. He must work through the hardships and overcome loosing himself along the way. Siddhartha began his adolescence with learning the ways of Brahman in hopes to find enlightenment by following the footsteps of his father. He lived along with his best friend Govinda but slowly grew discontent with his life. He felt empty and was hungry for something new. “that the wise Brahmans already revealed to him the most and the best of their wisdom, that they had already filled his expecting vessel with their richness, and the vessel was not full, the spirit was not content, the so...   [tags: Enlightenment, Siddhartha Essays]

Strong Essays
527 words (1.5 pages)

Free Siddhartha Essays: The Search in Siddartha

- The Search in Siddartha "Siddartha" is a book of a man’s struggle to find his true self. But his searching leads him in all the wrong directions. Then finally after a long journey he stops looking. During his search he discovers four things, what the “oneness” of life is, how the four noble truths affect everything, enlightenment, wisdom and love. On page 142 and 143 Siddartha realizes that Atmen or the “oneness” of life is in everything. That no matter who you are whether the Buddha, the dice player, or robber, “everything is Brahman.” Even a rock is said to have Atmen, because eventually the rock would dissolve and become material for a human body....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]

Free Essays
535 words (1.5 pages)

The Maturation of Siddhartha Essay

- The Maturation of Siddhartha Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse is the story of a young Indian noble who ventures off in the world to find an understanding of the meaning of life. His journey begins as a young Brahmin who yearned to unwind the complexities of his existence. He ends as an old sage who has found peace within himself and his surroundings. Throughout the book, Hesse allows the reader to trace Siddhartha's maturation process both through his experiences, and people with whom he comes in contact....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]

Free Essays
816 words (2.3 pages)

Siddhartha's Spitiual And Intellectual Growth Essay

- Siddhartha's Spiritual And Intellectual Growth In Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, a young Brahmin in the wealthier part of India, approximately three thousand years ago, decides to set a goal onto his life. He decides to journey along the path of enlightenment and reach Nirvana, a state of total bliss. His dear friend, Govinda, accompanies him on this journey....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha]

Strong Essays
1597 words (4.6 pages)