Sublime and the quest for Self-actualization in Herman Hesse's Siddhartha

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Mr. Gopal Chanana, Dr. Shriya Goyal


Herman Hesse’s seminal text, Siddhartha is the story about the journey of a man on his path to Self-Actualization. The story deals with the life of the protagonist, Siddhartha, who along with his friend, Govinda embarks on a journey for the search of the authentic Self. Each of them follows a distinct path, leading to vastly different experiences. Siddhartha focuses on the events that happen with the character of Siddhartha and the ways in which they influence and alter him. The book in itself takes the form of a quest and it is only in the end when Siddhartha meets Govinda that he hints at the knowledge that he has acquired. This, however, is not the entirety of his understanding but only a segment of his discovery.The objective of this paper is to underline Siddhartha’s journey of Self-Actualization and to emphasize on his reflections. The paper will try to prove how the journey of Self-actualization in the text is both an ontological and epistemological question. It also tries to describe that sublime moment of understanding which fulfils Siddhartha’s quest of Self-actualization.  

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