Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 3 March 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha - A Dualist Spiritual Journey

S. B. Bhambar, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.

The Eastern Connection

The Nobel Prize winner German poet and novelist Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha depicts the duality of spirit and nature, body verses mind and the individual's spiritual search outside the restrictions of the society. Flesh and spirit are two conflicting components in all of Hesse's novels.

His novel Siddhartha is about the Enlightenment of the East, the glory of Atman, the self and self-realization without mixing in Western thought. India was one of the most influential conditioning factors in Hesse's childhood. He was deeply affected by the spirituality of India, as he himself mentions: "From the time I was a child I breathed in and absorbed the spiritual side of India just as deeply as Christianity" (Zilkowski, 1965: 147). His Siddhartha is the manifestation of it. Henry and Garland Mary observe "In Siddhartha Hesse gives poetic expression to Indian philosophy" (Henry, 1976:381). Thus, the whole book has symbolic undertone that provides the novel its final meaning.

Symbolic Images

The provision of symbolic or metaphorical images within a work of art is essentially a matter of invention or of technique. Hesse has used certain symbols and images to convey his vision of spirituality. In Siddhartha through the journey of Siddhartha a whole range of the philosophy and thought of the East is subtly explored as a way of life, as a breath of existence by Hesse. Through the journey of Siddhartha Hesse makes us have an over-view of both the cultural and religious codes of our land.

Symbolism in one form or another has been used by nearly every great novelist and poet.

According to W.H. Alden, "A Symbol is felt to be much more before any possible meaning is consciously recognized, i.e. an object or event which is felt to be more important than reason can immediately explain" (Auden, 1950: 21). This is true with Hesse. The true success of Hesse's symbolic presentation of ideas is that it stimulates the unconscious or sub-conscious apprehension of ideas. It takes us to different heights and depths of meanings.

A Transcendental Vision

In Siddhartha Hesse presents a transcendental vision where Siddhartha's journey acquires a symbolic undertone and the spiritual quest theme culminates into a transcendental experience which is quite difficult to communicate in ordinary words. Hesse, an eminent personality in the sphere of German literature had an innate zeal to help ordinary people move towards some awareness of the depths of spiritual development which forms the central symbolic theme of the novel Siddhartha.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

The Linguistics of Newspaper Advertising in Nigeria | Women in Advertisements | Case-Assignment Under Government in Modern Literary Arabic | Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Very Young Learners: A Case from Turkey | Association of Self Fashioning and Circumstances in Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin | A Moral Lesson, Amoral Lesion - Sharon Pollock's The Komagata Maru Incident | Pariksha: Test by Prem Chand | Treatment of City in Nayantara Sahgal's Storm in Chandigarh | Phrasal Stress in Telugu | Stress Among ELT Teachers: A Study of Performance Evaluation from a Private Secondary School in Haryana | Willa Cather’s Portrayal of the Pioneer Virtues in Alexandra Bergson with Reference to O Pioneers! | Man-Woman Relationship in Nayantara Sahgal's Mistaken Identity | Classroom Management and Quality Control - An Action Research | Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha - A Dualist Spiritual Journey | Impact of Dramatics on Composition Skills of Secondary School English Language Learners in Pakistan | Narrative Technique, Language and Style in R. K. Narayan's Works | Diasporic Crisis of Dual Identity in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake | To Teach or Not to Teach Grammar isn't the Question Any Longer - A Case for Consciousness-Raising Tasks | Cognitive Flexibility in Children with Learning Disability | Coda Deletion in Yemeni Tihami Dialect (YTD)- Autosegmental Analysis | The Enigmatic Maya in Anita Desai's
Cry, The Peacock
| Developing an English Curriculum for a Premedical Program | The Ties of Kinship in Rohinton Mistry's Novels | Indian English: A Linguistic Reality | The Unpredictability of the Sonority of English Words | Women's Representation in Polity: A Need to Enhance Their Participation | Nandhini Oza's Concern for the Tribal Welfare in "The Dam Shall Not Be Built" | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF MARCH 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of March 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

S. B. Bhambar, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.
Department of English
Arts & Commerce College
Nesari. Tal. Gadhinglaj
Dist: Kolhapur 416504
Maharashtra, India

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