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Siddhartha

Hermann Hesse

Quiz

Study Questions and Essay Topics

Suggestions for Further Reading

1. Siddhartha’s father is a Brahmin, which means he is a what?

2. What is the name of Siddhartha’s best friend?

3. When Siddhartha joins the Samanas, what pleasant surprise does he find?

4. In the course of his confrontational departure from the Samanas, how does Siddhartha silence their leader?

5. What does Govinda do when Siddhartha leaves the Samanas?

6. After learning the main tenets of Gotama’s Eightfold Path, what does Siddhartha do?

7. Why does Gotama seem to believe he is qualified to be a spiritual leader?

8. When Siddhartha decides to leave Gotama’s camp, what does Govinda do?

9. How does the ferryman first seem to Siddhartha?

10. On his approach to the city, Siddhartha is almost overcome by desire for what?

11. Soon after Kamala meets Siddhartha, what does she agree to trade a kiss for?

12. Why does Kamala introduce Siddhartha to Kamaswami?

13. Siddhartha has a dream about Kamala’s pet bird. In Siddhartha’s dream, what is different about Kamala’s bird?

14. Soon after his dream about Kamala’s bird, Siddhartha retires to a pleasure garden. What does he do here?

15. During Siddhartha’s second encounter with the river, what does he do when he sees his own reflection in the water?

16. After Siddhartha falls asleep on the riverbank during his second encounter with the river, who does he awake to find?

17. When Siddhartha convinces the ferryman Vasudeva to teach him how to listen to the river, how does Vasudeva propose to train him?

18. Early in his time spent learning from Vasudeva, what news does Siddhartha hear from a group of Buddhists?

19. What causes Kamala’s death?

20. When Siddhartha learns he has a son, what does he propose?

21. When Siddhartha’s son steals Siddhartha’s money, what does Siddhartha do?

22. Through what activity does Siddhartha achieve true Nirvana?

23. After Siddhartha shows the signs of having attained Nirvana, what does Vasudeva do?

24. When Siddhartha meets Govinda for the final time, what initially happens?

25. At the end of the novel, how does Siddhartha share his experience of Nirvana with his old friend Govinda?

More Help

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The bird in the cage

by rccarlson, September 03, 2013

Siddhartha dreamed the bird died in the cage, which symbolizes what will happen to him if he continues his path of samsara. When he leaves, a real bird is released by Kamala. Therefore, the bird represents Siddhartha leaving the prison of samsara and chosing a life outside of the cage, rather than a life of pleasure and comfort inside the cage.

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