Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

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Towards the end of the novel, Siddhartha says to Govinda, “Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. We can find it, we can live it, we can be carried by it, we can work wonders with it, but we cannot utter it or teach it” (124). What is this wisdom that Siddhartha discovers? Write an essay about his journey into wisdom in the novel.

Siddhartha is a novel written by Herman Hesse. The persona in the novel is Siddhartha, who is in a hard and long journey of attaining wisdom and enlightenment. He chooses the path of rejection and the culture of Samanas and Gautama the Buddha throughout this quest. However, it dawns to Siddhartha that keeping on the path of others does not help a human being at all. He starts gets the realization that following others does not give one total enlightenment. According to him, learning is highly limited when one just depends on following others. Therefore, he decides to independently look for wisdom and knowledge. He, for instance, starts to listen to the river as he meditates. This action helps him realize who he is really, as he meditates through the visions and voices emanating from the flow of the river.

From the development, a major lesson comes unto him; the fact that gaining knowledge is a totally different ball game from attaining wisdom. He is of the opinion that attaining wisdom does not happen by way of passage or teaching as in the case of gaining knowledge. Agreeably, the process learning which is often present in the schools is highly e of passage. A teacher or mentor passes the knowledge to the student who interested in learning. However, even in the schools, it is often said that a good student leads the teacher in the learning process. It implies that while a teacher passes the knowledge, much of it must come from the efforts of the learner. It is from this point that credence is found in the opinion of Siddhartha. Siddhartha feels that gaining wisdom involves own initiatives and discoveries. A learner has to make discoveries of new insights that are not even passable to others.

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