Philosophical, Spiritual, and Religious Novel

Point of View

Third-person omniscient. The point of view follows Siddhartha most closely.


Measured without being detached; formal




India. Concurrent with the life of Buddha, estimated at around 625 BCE.


Siddhartha’s sloughing-off of his father’s traditional Brahmin beliefs foreshadows Siddhartha’s future loss of his own son. Siddhartha’s observation to Govinda that not even the eldest of the Samanas has attained Nirvana, and Govinda’s subsequent dismissal of the statement, foreshadows Govinda’s inability to find Nirvana by following the teachings of others. The first appearance of the peaceful ferryman, whom Siddhartha encounters on his way to the city, foreshadows Siddhartha’s own future as a ferryman and as a man of total spiritual peace.

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.


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.