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The Significance Of The River In "Siddhartha"

907 words - 4 pages

In the book "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse the significance of the river is displayed throughout the experiences that Siddhartha has next to the river and the things that by listening to the sound he comes to understand. Siddhartha is learning something from the moment he rides the ferry to the time when Govinda lays on the ground with tears flowing uncontrollably.Siddhartha admits to having no money to pay for the voyage, but the Ferryman says that friendship is payment enough, and takes him into town. After leaving town, Siddhartha returns to the river where had met the Ferryman earlier. Intrigued by the river's beauty and silent wisdom, Siddhartha decides to stay by the river. Siddhartha ...view middle of the document...

The pain of losing his son was long lasting for Siddhartha. It enabled him, however, to identify with ordinary people more than ever before. Though Siddhartha was beginning to understand what wisdom really is, the thought of son did not leave him. One day he sets off in search of his son, but stops as he heard the river laughing at him. He looks into the river, sees his own father whom he had left, and turns back. Siddhartha tells Vasuveda all of what he had thought, but as he does, Siddhartha notices a change in the old man. Vasuveda leads Siddhartha back to the river, imploring him to listen deeply. At first Siddhartha hears only the voices of sorrow, but these voices are soon joined by voices of joy, and at last all the voices are subsumed under the great sound of "Om." Realizing the unity of these voices, Siddhartha's pain fades away. He finds salvation. Recognizing his friend's achievement, Vasuveda departs into the woods to die, thereby joining the unity he has helped Siddhartha find at last.Not long after Vasuveda's departure, Govinda hears rumors of a Ferryman who is a sage. Still restless and unsatisfied after all his years of searching, Govinda goes to speak to the Ferryman. The Ferryman, Siddhartha, recognizes Govinda immediately, though Govinda does not recognize him. When Siddhartha finally addresses Govinda by name, Govinda recognizes him. Happy to have reunited after so long, Govinda spends the night at...

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