Character Development In Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha

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How many characters can one character portray? In Hermann Hesse’s novel Siddhartha, Hesse creates many diverse personas for Siddhartha to fill. Sigmund Freud’s theory on the three-part mind play an immense role in this novel along with his character traits, verdicts within the narrative, and Siddhartha’s character development throughout this piece of work. In the novel, Siddhartha experiences a variety of different lifestyles trace his hero's journey from arrogant Brahmin to an enlightened ferryman.
In the Beginning of the novel, the young Siddhartha displays several character traits that show Siddhartha as an arrogant Brahmin. Freud’s theory of the three-part mindset plays a part in the first four chapters. Also, Siddhartha’s verdicts in this
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Called to attention in this section are Freud’s theory and materialism versus spiritualism help critics distinguish Siddhartha. First, Siddhartha is a dynamic character. He goes from being a Brahmin, to a Samana, to wanting to find the Buddha and possibly follow him, to become a merchant obsessed with the material life, and to finally become a ferryman. Siddhartha does not have one constant in his life, besides himself and his beliefs. He goes from one-day fasting and begging for food to a gambling addiction in the material world. The ID finally reaches Siddhartha. He listens and feeds his material desires in these chapters. Siddhartha relies on material items instead of his beliefs. Such as, he needs to make money... he needs to gamble… he needs to learn love from Kamala. All this time as a Brahmin and a Samana he never had any of these things and now his unconsciousness wants all of it at once. It overwhelms Siddhartha since he never experiences anything of the sort. Finally, Siddhartha’s material and spiritualism intertwine, and it does not end so well. Siddhartha could not strike a balance between the two. His material desires won over and Siddhartha’s spiritualism went away for a while. “His heart was so full of misery, he could no longer endure it.” (Hesse 81). Addiction to the material world can draw a person away from their spiritualism. It only needs a little grasp on someone and then it takes over.…show more content…
Yet again. Now he can identify with ordinary people, he experiences true suffering, and the ego, from Freud's theory, is shown in these chapters. Siddhartha is now a childish, ordinary person, which he once looked down on. He thought he was above all of them, but now he is one of them. Siddhartha realizes this in chapter eleven. “So many people possess this very great happiness -- why not I? Even wicked people, thieves, and robbers have children, love them and are loved by them, except me. So childishly and illogically did he now reason; so much had become like the ordinary people.” (Hesse 129). On another note, Siddhartha's loss wounds his heart. Not from Kamala, but from his son. He truly loved his son. Siddhartha knew letting his son go was the right thing to do, yet he was miserable. In chapter 10, Siddhartha admitted to this misery, “He felt deep love for the runaway boy, like a wound, and yet felt at the same time that this wound was not intended to fester in him, but that it should heal.” (Hesse 126). Siddhartha experiences true suffering for the first time in these chapters. When Kamala died, he was sad, but not as much as the pain of losing his son. One of the hardest things for him to do was for him to let his son go. He knew he didn’t belong. Deja Vu maybe. All he wants is his son to love him. He wants happiness for the both of them...together. The first time Siddhartha loves, he loses it. He
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