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Searching for the meaning of life and love seems to be a popular theme of philosophical novels. And, Hesse's Siddhartha (1922) is no different from these. Winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 1946, Hermann Hesse is an explicitly holistic and dialectical writer who repeatedly in his novels depicts the struggle for self-awareness in the lives of his characters…
Hesse's work became increasingly popular after the World War II. His literature gave young readers a means of tranquility after a time of such confusion. It opened up a new world for them, as they could explore themselves and make sense of the chaos around them.
In Hesse's Siddhartha, the theme of soul-searching and Dhamma, even when set against the backdrop of Buddhism, can be read by people of all races. What is more intriguing is that, a Westerner, Hesse being a German, wrote this novel about Eastern philosophy. It is a novel about self-exploration and the coming together of mind, body, and spirit.
Hesse's emphasis is upon an historical figure of Siddhartha, a questing and questioning protagonist. He is in many ways the fictional counterpart to the Buddha himself, who, according to scholars, was Sakyamani Gautama, born in India in the sixth century B.C. Like Gautama, Siddhartha is a member of the Indian elite, a Brahmin born to luxury and power. ...
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