Hermann Hesse uses the literary devices of form, symbolism, and conflict to develop his novel, Siddhartha.
Hermann Hesse's novel, Siddhartha, "is a novel of classical symmetry, a perfection achieved" (Hermann Hesse 25). It tells the story of a young man who sets out to find his true self. Throughout his journey, Siddhartha converts to various religions, searching for the one religion that will help him discover his identity. As his journey continues, the main character is forced to overcome various obstacles in pursuit of his true self. He learns the ways of reality and its many flaws. As the story progresses, he comes across a river inhabited by Vasudeva, the ferryman, who teaches Siddhartha to find the holy Om by listening to the river. Finally, Siddhartha becomes satisfied with his newfound religion, which offers him his identity and his true happiness.
Hesse employs a structured form throughout the novel, dividing the work into three sections, each section containing three chapters. An interlude follows each section, signaling a change in the character's way of living (http://www.ic.ucsb.edu/~ggotts/hesse/works/jensid.html). This structure remains uniform throughout the entire novel, helping to establish its framework.
In dividing his literary work into three sections of three chapters, Hesse uses each section to depict another new beginning in Siddhartha's continuing search for his life's meaning. The first section deals with Siddhartha's Brahmin beliefs, and as the first section progresses, he continuously moves away from the Brahmin religion. As a result, he makes a change, leading into the first sec...
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...ngly impossible journey, thus discovering his true identity.
Freedman, Ralph. The Lyrical Novel. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1963
Hesse, Herman. Siddhartha. Dover Publications, 1998.
Welch, Carolyn Roberts. Cliff's Notes on Hesse's Steppenwolf and Siddhartha. Lincoln, Nebraska: Cliff's Notes Inc., 1923.
Ziolkowski, Theodore. Hermann Hesse. Columbia: Columbia University Press, 1966
Ziolkowski, Theodore. Hermann Hesse: A Study in Theme and Structure. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965.
Ziolkowski, Theodore. Hesse: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1973
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