Hesse's Siddhartha as it Parallels Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Essay

Hesse's Siddhartha as it Parallels Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Essay

Length: 1807 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Hesse's Siddhartha as it Parallels Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

 
Several parallels can be drawn between the psychologist Abraham Maslow's theoretical hierarchy of needs and the spiritual journey of Siddhartha, the eponymous main character in Herman Hesse's novel.  Maslow's hierarchy of needs is somewhat of a pyramid that is divided into eight stages of need through which one progresses throughout one's entire life. During the course of his lifetime, Siddhartha's personality develops in a manner congruent with the stages of Maslow's hierarchy.  Siddhartha's progress from each of the major sections of the hierarchy is marked by a sharp change in his life or behavior.

Siddhartha is the story of a young man's journey in search of truth. Early in life, Siddhartha and his friend Govinda hear the teachings of the Buddha.  Govinda is convinced of the validity of the Buddha's teachings and becomes one of his followers.  Siddhartha, on the other hand, was not satisfied with the Buddha's teachings because he believed that it was not possible to obtain true enlightenment through the words of others but that it must be experienced empirically.  Siddhartha therefore rejects the life of a Brahmin to become a Samana (a wandering person who gives up material possessions for his faith).  After he tires of this life, he moves on to learn the art of love from a woman named Kamala and the art of business from a man named Kamaswami.  He lives his new life for many years but then begins to feel that his mind has become stagnant and that he needs something new in his life.  He abandons the surroundings he now finds decadent and becomes friends and lives with a ferry-man who he met years before.  He spends the rest of his life with ...


... middle of paper ...


...e of material wants and was truly happy just to exist.  He realized his potential and found wonder in the world around him.

At some time during life, everyone must face Siddhartha's challenge. Everyone spends their life trying to attain self fulfillment and true contentment.  And during that time, one must remember the importance of the journey itself, not only the actual achievement.  Although not everyone reaches that goal, it is that goal which motivates people to strive to be their very best, knowing that lasting happiness sits shining atop the pyramid.

 

Works Cited

Hesse, Herman. Siddhartha. New York: New Directions Publishing Company, 1951.

Glenn, Jerry. Monarch Notes. The Major Works of Herman Hesse. New York: Monarch Press, 1973.

Schultz, Duane . Theories of Personality. Monterey, California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 1976.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Role of Teachers in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha Essay

- The Role of Teachers in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha Throughout history there have been countless numbers of teachers: artisans, craftsmen, ideologist, to name a few. They have all master some skill, gained some wisdom, or comprehended an idea. These teachers have achieved knowledge which allows them to excel and to be above and beyond regular people. Knowledge is something everyone strives for, and many desire. To achieve knowledge, one must have an eye-opening experience, and epiphany that leads to the increase of one’s intellect and skill set....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha]

Free Essays
1371 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about Finding Enlightenment in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha

- Finding Enlightenment in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha Growing up, children learn most everything from their elders. Yet, an elder nor a book can help a person to enlightenment. Nor can they teach a person to find their soul. The path to a person’s Atman is a personal journey, one to be endured, not taught. The meaning of a person’s life is not a subject to be read in books. The meaning of life is slowly attained through wisdom, enduring life and searching for the right path along the way. In the novel Siddhartha, Gotama cannot teach enlightenment because that wisdom cannot be communicated through words, only through experience....   [tags: Herman Hesse, Siddhartha]

Powerful Essays
463 words (1.3 pages)

Maslow 's Hierarchy Of Needs Essay

- Abraham Maslow is known for Maslow 's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow (1943) insisted that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. He thought people’s needs are consisted like a pyramid. When one need is satisfied, people want to fulfill the next one. He insisted there are five stages of people’s demands. The basic one is physiological, and the next one is safety, belonging, esteem and the highest level is self-actualization. Physiological need is to instinctive desires, such as eating, drinking, sleeping and sex....   [tags: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Psychology]

Powerful Essays
770 words (2.2 pages)

Maslow 's Hierarchy Of Needs Essay

- Person-Situations Interactions Two proponents most noted for humanistic approaches to personality are Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. Both the Person-Centered Theory (Rogers) and the Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow) considered that humans ' true nature was good and that each has the potential for growth. A comparison of the two approaches demonstrates a compatibility between theory and practice. Furthermore, each approach focuses on individual choices and rejects the theory that biology will determine human potential....   [tags: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Psychology]

Powerful Essays
1113 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Maslow 's Hierarchy Of Needs

- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in My Life Sometimes it is hard to see change, at least up close. I forget how much I have changed in my life until I look at a picture of myself in middle school or I run into an old friend I haven’t seen in a while. My point is that sometimes I wonder if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing in my life and that I am reaching or at least close to reaching my full potential as a person. This would be considered a motivator in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In one of my college classes, we were supposed to write about how we can inspire motivation in ourselves....   [tags: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation]

Powerful Essays
833 words (2.4 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]

Powerful Essays
776 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on River in Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

- River in "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse The river is a source of knowledge. It symbolises a teacher, a guru, one who knows and is aware of this knowledge and who imparts it to those who seek knowledge from it. In Herman Hesse’s novella Siddhartha, the protagonist Siddhartha is deeply mystified by the secrets and puzzles of the river. He seeks to unravel and them and gain knowledge from the river in order to achieve his goal of attaining nirvana, enlightenment. He is helped in his course by a ferryman Vasudeva, who has lived all his life close to the river, transporting people from one side to the other....   [tags: Sidhartha Herman Hesse Essays]

Powerful Essays
765 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The Power of the River in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha

-        'For ages, the river has been a sign of eternity and has served as a symbol of spiritual awareness to many people'(Rahula 39). The river in Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse, is an important symbol. Hesse provides many references to the river throughout his novel, and it serves many purposes in his writing. Siddhartha who is the main character, grows up with his father and mother on a riverbank, in India. He decides to leave the world of the Brahmins to seek his own way. Govinda, Siddhartha's companion, follows him to the world of the Samanas....   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays ]

Powerful Essays
1359 words (3.9 pages)

Uniting Mind, Body, and Spirit in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha Essay

- Uniting Mind, Body, and Spirit in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha Each of us has innate desire to understand the purpose of our existence.  As Hermann Hesse illustrates in his novel Siddhartha, the journey to wisdom may be difficult.  Organized religion helps many to find meaning in life but it does not substitute careful introspection. An important message of Siddhartha is that to achieve enlightenment one must unite the experiences of mind, body, and spirit.             In the first part of the book, Siddhartha is consumed by his thirst for knowledge.  He joined the samanas and listened to the teachings of the Buddha in attempt to discern the true way to Nirvana.  Though he perfe...   [tags: Hesse Siddhartha Essays]

Powerful Essays
764 words (2.2 pages)

The Importance of Surroundings in Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and The Stranger by Albert Camus

- The Importance of Surroundings in Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and The Stranger by Albert Camus According to John Locke, people begin their lives with a clean slate and are nurtured by their surroundings and contact with others, also known as Tabula Rasa (Landry)....   [tags: Camus Siddhartha Hesse]

Free Essays
1725 words (4.9 pages)