Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

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Many people go through life trying to figure out who they are; they wander around like zombies looking for the one thing that makes them content, that one thing that changes their outlook, inner-peace, inner-perfection, love, respect. There are many things that can put a person at peace. Siddhartha, a novel by Herman Hesse, is a story of success, a very inspirational novel that can help lead one to achieving Om, the all-important state of inner-peace and perfection.

Throughout the novel, Siddhartha goes through four stages while on the path to attaining Om- the Brahmin, the Samana, the Merchant, and finally, the Ferryman. The Merchant stage of his life most significantly influenced the outcome of the novel and most substantially prompted his conquest of inner perfection through the disillusionment of the importance of money and possessions.

The Merchant stage, an approximate twenty years of Siddhartha's life, was very crucial in many ways.

Siddhartha experienced success of achieving so much in business and obtaining money while at the same time underwent failure in becoming ordinary. He experiences love, or what he thought to be love, for Kamala. He learns how to use his senses and decifers between good and evil and yet, gets caught up in both.

In turn, through the experience of his senses, through good and evil, Siddhartha starts to lose true self. He no longer felt the purity of being a Samana as he once had before. His Samana abilities to wait, think, and fast were remote in the past. "Property, possessions, and riches had also finally trapped him. They were no longer a game and a toy; they had become a chain and a burden. (79)" The sickness of the rich had crept over him. His once intellectual face eventually turned to a...