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Candide And Siddhartha Essay

1500 words - 6 pages

The books Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse and Candide, by Voltaire are alike in many ways. The main characters in these books both attempt to find their own personal happiness in different ways. Throughout these books, Siddhartha and Candide both embark on separate journeys to find themselves and where they belong in the world. Both Siddhartha and Candide try many things and experience some of the same situations in different ways.
In the book Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, the main character Siddhartha had many teachers along his quest for happiness. Throughout his life he denounced teachers and their teachings. In his last meeting with his lifelong friend, Govinda, he mentions five in which he ...view middle of the document...

That is how these young men come to me, O Samana?” These teachings in which Kamala placed upon him helped him to seek out the riches and wealth that would supposedly bring him happiness. On the other hand, Candide's misfortune begins when he is kicked out of the castle and experiences a series of horrible events. Candide is unable to see anything positive in his ordeals, contrary to Dr. Pangloss' teachings that there is a cause for all effects and that, though we might not understand it, everything is all for the good. Candide's endless trials begin when he is forced into the army simply because he is the right height, five feet five inches. In the army he is subjected to endless drills and humiliations and is almost beaten to death. Candide escapes and, after being degraded by good Christians for being an anti-Christ, meets a diseased beggar who turns out to be Dr. Pangloss. Dr. Pangloss informs him that Bulgarian soldiers attacked the castle of Westfalia and killed Cunegonde - more misery!

Another person who Siddhartha obtained knowledge from was the rich merchant Kamaswami. Kamaswami taught Siddhartha the secrets of making money and living the life of a rich man. While working for Kamaswami many of Siddhartha's values stayed intact but, slowly these values began to slip away. In many ways Kamaswami taught Siddhartha the dark side of life. As the days went on Siddhartha began hating himself more and more. He viewed his riches as worthless, for they did not truly bring him happiness. Slowly he began squandering his money playing dice. He won thousands and lost thousands in order to reach the high he felt when he carelessly bet his money away. This taught him the worthless value of money, for money only brought more and more sadness. As for Candide, a charitable Anabaptist gives both Candide and Dr. Pangloss money and assistance. Dr. Pangloss is cured of his disease, losing one of his eyes and one of his ears. The Anabaptist takes them with him on a journey to Lisbon. While aboard the ship, the Anabaptist falls overboard in the process of rescuing a crew member. Candide finds it more and more difficult to accept Dr. Pangloss' principle that all is for the best. In Lisbon there is an earthquake which kills thousands of people, throwing the city into ruins. Later, Dr. Pangloss is hung as part of an auto-de-fe. Candide is miraculously taken in by an old woman and is brought to his love, Cunegonde. She tells him of the torture she suffered and how she barely survived. She further explains that she was somewhat “shared” by a Jew named Don Issachar and the Grand Inquisitor. Candide kills the two men and escapes with Cunegonde and the old woman.

Finally after rejecting this life of sin, Siddhartha vowed to leave the city and never return. As he retreated into the forest he decided to go to the river. At the river he found his friend Govinda, who had watched over Siddhartha while he had slept. Govinda was now a Buddhist monk who searched for...

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