full title Siddhartha
author Hermann Hesse
type of work Novel
genre Spiritual and Religious Novel
time and place written 1919–1921, Switzerland
date of first publication 1922
narrator An unnamed narrator tracks Siddhartha’s spiritual progress.
point of view Third-person omniscient. The point of view follows Siddhartha most closely.
tone Measured without being detached; formal
setting (time) Concurrent with the life of Buddha, estimated at around 625 b.c.
setting (place) India
major conflict Siddhartha searches for total spiritual enlightenment.
rising action Siddhartha experiments with different teachers and approaches to Nirvana, and when they prove unsatisfactory, he turns his search inward.
climax Siddhartha finally achieves total spiritual understanding as he sits beside Vasudeva and listens to the river.
falling action Siddhartha meets Govinda and shares the Nirvana he has attained.
themes The search for spiritual enlightenment; inner vs. exterior guidance; the wisdom of indirection
motifs Love; Om; polarities
symbols The river; the ferryman; the smile