Simple essay on a quote from "Sidhartha" by Herman Hesse

Essay by Aaron MartinezHigh School, 12th gradeB-, November 1996

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On page 132 we read "Everything that was not suffered to the end and finally concluded, recurred, and the same sorrows were undergone." What does this mean in regards to Siddhartha and any other of the characters in Hesse's story? Do you agree with this statement? Explain.

This quote is taken from the context of when Siddhartha is crossing the river and he sees his reflection and it looks like his father. This quote refers to a repeating of events. It is illustrated by Brahmin being separated from Siddhartha and Siddhartha being separated from his own son. This parallels the quote in three ways. Taken literally it identifies the "father-like-son" aspect of the situation. It can be taken as a metaphor for the endlessness of time as well. Taken out of context, this quote identifies that anything that is not followed or completely worked through will continue to exist and it will repeat itself.

Siddhartha left his father, Brahmin, at a young age to join the ascetics. Siddhartha is now considering the pain his father must have gone through not seeing his son again. Siddhartha's son, too, was separated from his father. Without dealing with this situation, the distance between father and son would never be reconciled. Thus the situation Siddhartha had with Brahmin would be repeated.

The quote can also be interpreted as a metaphor for time. Obvious recurrences can be noted in time, suggesting that time repeats itself. Instead of a river, another symbol can be used for time, perhaps a pool. According to this quote, things repeat themselves in time. In a pool objects float around until they finally make their way to the outlet. Events swirling around in time without reconciliation are "trapped" until they are dealt with. The entire pool makes up all...