The River In Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha

707 Words3 Pages
The river in the story of Siddhartha symbolizes the essence of life. From Biblical times through the present water has been used to cleanse sins from the art of baptism. Hermann Hesse incorporates a river in Siddhartha to present to us the metaphor of life. Siddhartha a zealous young man travels the countryside in search of Nirvana. Within his journey, the river has encountered a handful of times. His experience with the river is different each time as he tries to find his true self. Overall the river is there for Siddhartha it quenches his spiritual thirst as he goes on his path for knowledge and attempting to find himself the unity he needs. The importance of the river is immediately evident through the first chapter, as we learn Siddhartha grew up alongside a riverbank. “In the shade of the house, in the sunshine on the river bank by the boats, in the shade of the sallow wood and the fig tree, Siddhartha, the handsome Brahmin’s son, grew up with his friend Govinda” (3). As Siddhartha is disheartened with his normal life. He has this desire to quench the thirst of finding himself spiritually. “It often seemed near--the heavenly world-- not one who had completely quenched the eternal thirst”(8). The first part of his journey he departs from his restricted life with his father and goes and lives with the samanas becoming an individual. Through this experience, Siddhartha acknowledges many things from the semanas. “He traveled along the path of self-denial through
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