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Changes Through the Journey Essay


Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse is a not just a piece of fiction, it is a great book which dwells upon the way each person should come through. The symbolic meaning of searching for personal self impresses. Reading this novel each person can recognize him/herself. Searching for personal self, many people look at the experience of other people, they try to find their self relying on the skills of others.

However, this is not correct as the experience of other people may just give somebody knowledge about the possible events, actions, case, however, enlightenment is reachable to those who want to find it, who walks their personal paths getting personal experience and trying to find their self without relying on the experience of others.

The difference of Siddhartha at the beginning of the story and at the end of it is obvious. Attitude to life of a person who does not know what he is living for and why he is doing it differs greatly from a person who knows what he is doing in this world. At the very beginning of discussion, the author describes Siddhartha as a person who was wise enough and who experienced much in his life.

However, he himself understood that what he knew was not enough, that he needed more joy and love in his heart which he could experience only by having found the sense of his life. Having started his way, Siddhartha was a person without direct understanding of personal desires, his actions and thoughts were confusing and he did not know what he was living for. The way to the final enlightenment was rather complicated.

At the end of a story Siddhartha becomes a new ferryman. He is sure that his life is inevitable and therefore important. He understands that the role other people played in his life was as great as he played some roles in the life of other people. One of the main discoveries Siddhartha does at the end of the story and that makes him different from who he was at the very beginning of his journey is enlightenment. Those who managed to understand it, to discover and to get, are very lucky people as not everyone manages to do it.

Siddhartha understood that enlightenment called “…treasure and secret was not teachable, which he had experienced in the hour of his enlightenment – it was nothing but this very thing which he had now gone to experience… his self” (Hesse 41). The importance of this phrase cannot be overestimated as this is the moment what the protagonist reached his enlightenment. At the same way this very episode is the expression of the author’s point of view about human self.

One of the main conclusions made by Siddhartha and the author is that it is impossible to learn enlightenment. Each person should experience something, each person has to learn something on practice to make sure that he/she has reached enlightenment as this is the only way.

People should understand that self is something sacred, something that stays in each person individually, that directs a person, makes his life unique. Siddhartha said, “I will learn from myself, be my own pupil; I will learn from myself the secret of Siddhartha” (Hesse 39). Reading the novel, each of these moments is felt at the very end of a book. When a person reaches enlightenment, he/she reaches salvation.

This is the most sacred moment as having understood personal value, having understood personal importance to this world, one has an opportunity to understand this world, his/her place there. It is essential to remember the scene where Siddhartha leaves his friend Govinda under the supervision of Buddha who promised to teach his pupils enlightenment.

Having left him, Siddhartha “bean to walk quickly and impatiently, no longer homewards, no longer to his father, no longer looking backwards” (Hesse 42). This is the moment when two friends separated for searching the same. This is the signs that each person has his own path on the way to understanding.

Kamala was another person who managed to change Siddhartha and his style of life. On the one hand, she gave him many lessons, important on his way to enlightenment. On the other hand, she gave him a son. Siddhartha’s son was the one who pushed Siddhartha for understanding that each person has to search for his path alone. Having left his son in the city, Siddhartha has time to think about his life, about what has happened and he comes to the conclusions about self and enlightenment.

It is really important for the main character to realize his meaning, to realize the meaning of the world and the meaning of the surrounding people and objects, “meaning and reality were not hidden somewhere behind things, they were in them, in all of them” (Hesse 40). Searching for this truth, the protagonist has to look inside self, however, for a long time he tried to find something behind himself. It is essential to understand this particular moment.

Most people who used the services of a ferryman did not see this difference as well as they did not understand that they had to follow personal lives in spite of relying on somebody’s teachings. Only looking inside of personal self, actions, and thoughts a person is able to achieve something important. Only being able to understand personal mistakes and make sure that these mistakes are never repeated against, a person reaches his/her goals.

In conclusion, it should be stated that the book under consideration is extremely philosophical. Apart from personal self a lot of different themes are raised there which are closely connected to enlightenment, however, they may be applied to another of human personality. One of the main themes in this book is the search of personal self. The main character tried many different ways. First, he wanted to use the experience and teaching of a wise person, however, he understood that this way was wrong.

Then, he tries to release from everything trying to find something inside himself, however, he understands that doing nothing h would get nothing. Thus, walking the world he faces many people and each of them gives Siddhartha experience. Such experience is really valued as once having got enough experience, Siddhartha experiences enlightenment.

Having understood personal place in this world and the purpose of personal being, Siddhartha is sure that he managed to lead a deserving life. The only way he can be useful to others, as a part of salvation, is to become a ferryman. This is exactly what he does when his son goes for searching personal enlightenment.

Works Cited

Hesse, Hermann. Siddhartha, New York: Cricket House Books LLC, 2012. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2018, December 11). Changes Through the Journey. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/changes-through-the-journey/

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"Changes Through the Journey." IvyPanda, 11 Dec. 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/changes-through-the-journey/.

1. IvyPanda. "Changes Through the Journey." December 11, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/changes-through-the-journey/.


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IvyPanda. "Changes Through the Journey." December 11, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/changes-through-the-journey/.

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IvyPanda. 2018. "Changes Through the Journey." December 11, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/changes-through-the-journey/.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'Changes Through the Journey'. 11 December.

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