The river in Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse, is an important symbol.

SEHNSUCHT: Duriez discusses the idea in two senses. (1) In medieval German literature and Scandinavian ballads, an inconsolable longing brought about by natural or artistic beauty--especially for something unobtainable. In continental medieval literature, this is often embodied by the symbol of a blue flower. (2) A yearning or longing that leads on to joy, which C.S. Lewis argued was an important feature of fantasy literature, creating places, creatures otherworlds, wonderlands that serve as "regions of spirit" that ironically help us to better connect with the real world of nature (Duriez 102) C.S. Lewis felt that fantasy literature centered around sehnsucht.

Siddhartha who is the main character, grows up with his father and mother on a riverbank, in India.
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However, characters, when well thought-out, can also enhance a work of literature, pushing it beyond the realm of generic plots and simple, noncomplex themes and symbols.


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Another obstacle that Siddhartha could face would be his friend Govinda.
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STARINA: Another term in Russian literature for a bylina. See for further discussion.


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In Shakespeare’s words, “Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.”1 Shakespeare unintentionally connects the concept of his play Othello to the ancient concept of the Four Noble Truths: craving worldly pleasures only leads one to suffer.

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In Siddhartha, Hesse consciously crafted a piece that is unified in form, style, and content, and created an atmosphere in which each one of these elements is perfectly complementary with the others....

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STRUCTURALISM: The idea in sociology, anthropology, literary theory, or linguistics that the best way to understand a cultural artifact (like family units, religious rites, or human language) is not to define each component individually, as its own unique element, but rather to define each component by its relationship to other parts of the same structure. To give a rough example, consider a concept like "father" in American society. If we were attempting to define this concept and how the role functions in American society or in a traditional family from the 1950s, a nonstructuralist might define a father as "a male adult figure who provides income for the family and who serves as an authority figure or protector." Such a definition seeks to define the role based on what it does or what it is, per se. In contrast, a structuralist might instead seek to define a "father" by showing the relationship that figure would have in the larger structure of the family, i.e., a "father corresponds to a mother, but is of opposite gender, and the two together may have children, forming a larger structure called a family, and within that family the father traditionally protects the children and labors outside the household while the mother nutures them within the home." For the structuralist, it makes no sense to define a father without considering the other parts of the family structure and explaining the father's role in relationship to those other parts. The role of father cannot exist if the roles of mother and children do not exist. They are interdependent in ontology.

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First, Siddhartha felt a need for independence, that to truly be happy with his success, he must attain his achievements in his own way, and not others.