Prepared by Grace Potter, Period 7, Austin High School - AGS 2016
Step 1: Call to Adventure- "Tomorrow morning, my friend, Siddhartha is going to join the Samanas. He is going to become a Samana." (Hesse 9) Siddhartha had never experienced the real world until he saw the old beaten down Samana's who had been pursuing enlightenment their entire adult lives. He knew he had learned everything his teachers and elders had to give, that is why he felt such a pull to join the nirvana seeking men. Siddhartha always had a strong craving to know more about the world and himself. The quote is from Siddhartha's best friends point of view and is a preview of what is next.
Step 2: Refusal of the Call- "It is not seemingly for Brahmins to utter forceful and angry words, but there is displeasure in my heart. I should not like to hear you make this request a second time." (Hesse 10) His father is forbidding him to go on a religious journey, the old Brahmin wants to shelter his son from the outside world and the possible struggle and suffering he might experience. In this quote, Siddhartha's father is restricting him... he is refusing the call for Siddhartha. The Brahmin uses strong diction to control his sons urges to leave home. The words he uses to communicate his anger show diction.
Step 3: Road of Trials- "Silently Siddhartha stood there in the fierce suns rays, filled with pain and thirst, and stood until he no longer felt pain and thirst. Silently he stood in the rain, water dripping from his head onto his freezing shoulders , and onto his freezing hips and legs. Blood dripped from his smarting skin, ulcers formed... both youths had lived with the Samanas for about three years." ( Hesse 14 and 20) The two young men are putting themselves through extreme conditions to achieve enlightenment. They tried many new things, including very difficult trials; in their case they were unsuccessful, but it had only been three years while other men had been aiming for enlightenment for decades. Hesse uses details to describe the harsh conditions the boys are enduring for the sake of finding enlightenment.
Step 4: Crossing the Threshold- " You have listened well to the teachings, O Brahmin's son, and it is a credit to you that you have thought so deeply about them. You have found a flaw. Think well about it again...its goal is salvation from suffering. That is what Gotama teaches, nothing else." (Hesse 33) At this point Siddhartha has traveled as a Samana for 3 years, he feels as though he has learned all the Illustrious One has to offer, and doesn't agree with all of his teachings. Siddhartha is telling the Buddha that he is moving on to make his own path to enlightenment. While in this quote the Buddha is explaining that he only teaches one thing... salvation from suffering. The Illustrious One has a strong variation of syntax. He uses short, and long sentences, compound sentences and simple sentences to make his points. His use of a wide variety of sentence structures adds to his wisdom.
Step 5: The Temptress- " You have seen Siddhartha, the Brahmin's son, who left his home in order to become a Samana, and who was a Samana for three years. Now, however, I have left this path... I would like to ask you to be my friend and teacher, I do not know anything of the art of which you are the mistress." (Hesse 53) Siddhartha is willing to abandon his whole path to enlightenment to learn the way of Kamala's love. It took one look and he was under her spell. She continued to distract him for many years while he became rich and educated in business and the art of love. Eventually he forgot his path, then one day he realized he had strayed and went back to a solemn life. This goes with the universal theme. Kamala distracted him from his goal, but after some time the distraction made him realize what he really wanted.
Step 6: Belly of the Whale- "Yes, he was at the end...Siddhartha was deeply horrified. So that was what he had come to; he was so lost, so confused, so devoid of all reason, that he had sought death... All the torment of these recent times, all the disillusionment, all the despair, had not affected him so much as it did the moment the Om reached his consciousness and he recognized his wretchedness." (Hesse 89) In this moment Siddhartha is alone in the woods questioning all of his actions, what he had done with his life. After this point he came out with a new output on life. This goes along with the overall theme, what offsets you from your goals may only bring you closer to realizing what you want. After this point in the book Siddhartha changed his path into something he really wanted.
Step 7: Apotheosis - "Govinda bowed low. Incontrolable tears trickled down his old face. He was overwhelmed by a feeling of great love, of the most humble veneration. He bowed low, right down to the ground, in front of the man sitting there motionless, whose smile reminded him of everything that he had ever loved in life, of everything that had ever been of value and holy in his life." (Hesse 151-152) Since Siddhartha has reached enlightenment he was almost God like, he was the Perfect One. He was in a state of peace, he was free from the cycling of suffering. Hesse uses syntax to convey Govinda's strong emotions. There are many short phrases that reveal the importance of the relationship of his physical actions to his immediate emotions.
Step 8: The Ultimate Boon- " When Siddhartha listened attentively to this river, to this song, of a thousand voices; when he did not listen to the sorrow or laughter, when he did not bind his soul to any one particular voice and absorb it in his Self, but heard them all, the whole, the unity... thousand voices consisted of one word: Om-perfection... his Self had emerged into unity." (Hesse 136) This quote provides a theme that flowed throughout the book. The good and bad powers of water and the many lessons it teaches. Water and its many different qualities were brought up several times throughout Siddhartha's story. Water was used for teaching, conveying power, and mirroring the flow of life. At the very end of the book Siddhartha achieved what he had been searching for his whole life. He had come full circle to reaching his goal and had become enlightened, he was no longer aimlessly searching for knowledge of the world and himself.