Summary and Analysis
Important Quotations Explained
Full Book Quiz
Themes, Motifs, and Symbols
Suggestions for Further Reading
How to Write Literary Analysis
Suggested Essay Topics
How to Cite This SparkNote
Table of Contents
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Full Book Quiz
. Siddhartha’s father is a Brahmin, which means he is a what?
. What is the name of Siddhartha’s best friend?
. When Siddhartha joins the Samanas, what pleasant surprise does he find?
That he has a brother
That his own father was once a Samana
That Govinda has also joined the Samanas
That the Samanas have chosen to make Siddhartha their leader
. In the course of his confrontational departure from the Samanas, how does Siddhartha silence their leader?
By gazing at him hypnotically
By wrestling with him and winning
By criticizing the dress of the Samanas
By threatening to tell Gotama about them
. What does Govinda do when Siddhartha leaves the Samanas?
Remains with the Samanas
Returns to their home village
Wanders to a river
. After learning the main tenets of Gotama’s Eightfold Path, what does Siddhartha do?
Questions Gotama privately about the specifics of his spiritual recommendations
Acknowledges Gotama’s beliefs as making up the one true faith
Insists to Govinda that they leave immediately
Attempts to return to the Samanas, but fails to locate their whereabouts
. Why does Gotama seem to believe he is qualified to be a spiritual leader?
He has read every spiritual text in existence
He was once the leader of the Samanas
He has many followers
He has attained Nirvana
. When Siddhartha decides to leave Gotama’s camp, what does Govinda do?
Stays with Gotama
Appears unexpectedly, but doesn’t recognize Siddhartha
Returns to the Samanas
. How does the ferryman first seem to Siddhartha?
Bitter and lost
Cringing and self-serving
Contented and smiling
Dazed and confused
. On his approach to the city, Siddhartha is almost overcome by desire for what?
A home-cooked meal
. Soon after Kamala meets Siddhartha, what does she agree to trade a kiss for?
A well-recited poem
A well-sung song
An amusing acrobatic trick
A beautiful painting
. Why does Kamala introduce Siddhartha to Kamaswami?
So Siddhartha will have a friend in the city
So Siddhartha can learn the ways of a merchant
Kamaswami is the city’s greatest spiritual leader
So Siddhartha may fight a duel with him for the hand of Kamala
. Siddhartha has a dream about Kamala’s pet bird. In Siddhartha’s dream, what is different about Kamala’s bird?
It has the head of a fish
It is a different color
It speaks in the voice of Govinda
It is dead
. Soon after his dream about Kamala’s bird, Siddhartha retires to a pleasure garden. What does he do here?
Encounters Govinda, who fails to recognize him
Encounters Kamala and follows her into the woods
Engages in sexual intercourse with Kamala
Resolves to leave the city
. During Siddhartha’s second encounter with the river, what does he do when he sees his own reflection in the water?
Asks it to teach him the nature of Nirvana
Spits at it
Flashes a big smile
Fails to recognize himself
. After Siddhartha falls asleep on the riverbank during his second encounter with the river, who does he awake to find?
Govinda, who fails to recognize him
Gotama, who fails to recognize him
Kamala, who Siddhartha fails to recognize
. When Siddhartha convinces the ferryman Vasudeva to teach him how to listen to the river, how does Vasudeva propose to train him?
Siddhartha will meet with Vasudeva once a day
Siddhartha will learn to swim in the river
Siddhartha will replace Vasudeva as the ferryman for one year, and Vasudeva will return periodically to check his progress
Siddhartha will live and work alongside Vasudeva
. Early in his time spent learning from Vasudeva, what news does Siddhartha hear from a group of Buddhists?
The Samanas have declared war on Gotama’s followers
The Samanas have disbanded
Gotama is dying
Gotama has attained a new and deeper level of Nirvana
. What causes Kamala’s death?
A natural disaster
. When Siddhartha learns he has a son, what does he propose?
The son should follow Gotama
The son should live with Govinda
The son should live with Siddhartha at the river
The son should live in the city with Kamaswami
. When Siddhartha’s son steals Siddhartha’s money, what does Siddhartha do?
Follows him to the outskirts of the city, where the trail ends
Spreads the word from town to town that his son is a shameful thief
Declares to Vasudeva that his son is no longer a relation
Takes him to the Samanas’ camp, where he is forced to become an ascetic
. Through what activity does Siddhartha achieve true Nirvana?
Following the precepts of Gotama
Listening to the teachings of the river
Successfully recognizing Govinda
Reluctantly welcoming his estranged son back into his life
. After Siddhartha shows the signs of having attained Nirvana, what does Vasudeva do?
Urges Siddhartha to teach his own son
Sings and dances in celebration
Leaves for the city, presumably to start a new life
Leaves to die in the forest
. When Siddhartha meets Govinda for the final time, what initially happens?
Siddhartha fails to recognize Govinda
Govinda fails to recognize Siddhartha
Govinda reveals that he has recently attained Nirvana
Govinda reveals that he has abandoned his quest for enlightenment
. At the end of the novel, how does Siddhartha share his experience of Nirvana with his old friend Govinda?
He has Govinda kiss his forehead
He makes Govinda wash his feet
He coaches Govinda to listen to the teachings of the river
He goes into the woods and leaves Govinda to be the next ferryman
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