The Significance Of Stupidity In Herman Hesse's Siddhartha

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If a person was asked to illustrate a physical representation of stupidity they may form the shape of an upside-down cone and write in it, “Dunce.” Success has often been correlated with knowledge, but, measuring how much knowledge someone possesses is tricky. In Charles Dickens Victorian novel, Great Expectations, Pip starts off as a young “common” boy who yearns for a higher station in life. Also yearning, in Herman Hesse’s Interwar novel, Siddhartha, is Siddhartha who leads a nomadic life in search of spiritual enlightenment. Although, both are self-aware and intelligent, both are quite ignorant to the world around them.
Pip is haunted by the idea that he is not worthy of wonderful opportunities (i.e. marrying Estella), therefore, he seeks
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One day, for the second time since their official parting, Siddhartha runs into Govinda, his childhood friend. Both were once seekers of enlightenment, but Siddhartha informs Govinda that he stopped seeking a long time ago. Govinda doesn’t understand and asks Siddhartha to teach him what he has learned. Siddhartha relates the lesson to a stone and how it is everything all while being the stone they see. He tries to enlighten Govinda by saying, “‘this is why I love it and see worth and purpose in each of its veins and cavities, in the yellow, in the gray, in the hardness, in the sound it makes when I knock at it, in the dryness or wetness of its surface’” (Hesse 78). Unlike in the beginning of his adventure, Siddhartha clings onto every detail of this plain object. He cherishes the most natural essences of its being and doesn’t question the worth it has. Everything is linked and shares an importance in his eyes. Also, Siddhartha humbly mentions how he understands that this wise idea of his may be odd to someone else. It’s a huge shift from his mentality from when he was a young boy and professing that everything was plastic and had no true meaning. He embodies the idea that acceptance, modest living and teaching, and peace with yourself is what a person needs to find what they have been looking for. Govinda actively searches and devotes his life to finding and knowing Nirvana, but doesn’t seem to have come in contact with it. Siddhartha never bluntly states that he has found Nirvana, or that it’s necessary, all he stands by is that he is content with who he is and the world he lives in, even if he doesn’t fully understand

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