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English Paper

619 words - 3 pages

Bailey Teas
WL 1 First and Second Paragraphs

In Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and The Odyssey by Homer, the authors show a conflict for the search for unity. Siddhartha seeks to find OM, signifying the unity of one’s self and all things. To find this he has to abandon Brahmin beliefs. In Homer’s text, Odysseus is physically lost and determined to return home despite his captivity by Calypso. In both texts the conflict of unity can be compared and contrasted on the basis of its physical, emotional and metaphysical.
The first major conflicts for the search of unity both novels hold revolve around the main characters and unity between themselves and their family’s beliefs. In Siddhartha, Siddhartha has realized that he has absorbed all the Brahmins beliefs and values that he’s teachers can teach him. However, he has to physically leave and abandon the Brahmins beliefs ...view middle of the document...

” (11) He has come to realize the struggles that he will have to endure to return to his homeland. In addition to these similarities, both main characters undergo different kinds of conflict with their families. In Siddhartha the emptiness feeling Siddhartha experiences is emotional and physical, but his ultimate goal is to become "Subservient" (49), which involves his emotional standing. In contrast, Odysseus struggles also include physical. Both characters' conflicts revolve around themselves.
Regardless of the differences of background and beliefs, both books similarly contain the conflict about what to achieve with ones religion and rules of their families. In Siddhartha for example, Siddhartha states “they [Brahmins] had already poured the sum total of their knowledge into his waiting vessel; and the vessel was not full, his intellect was not satisfied, his soul was not at peace, his heart was not still.” (5) This situation tells the reader that Siddhartha has emotionally gained all the knowledge that the Brahmins can offer to him. Siddhartha then states, “and the vessel was not full, his intellect was not satisfied, his soul was not at peace, his heart was not still.” This demonstrates to the reader the emotional separation that he feels within himself. Siddhartha states that his "slumbering soul suddenly awakened and he recognizes the folly of his action"(89), showing the reader the emotional struggle that makes Siddhartha's absence of his religion cause him to feel alone and unfulfilled. In Homer’s text, Odysseus doesn’t reveal himself to the Suitors when he gets back home. Disguising himself as a beggar to enter his own home, he is beaten and tormented. Odysseus still disguised as a beggar states “ You saw just now how that man struck me a painful blow, when I was only walking about the hall and doing no harm; Telemachos did nothing to stop him, nor did any one else.” (202) This suggests to the reader the emotional state in which his own son watches his father beaten but nothing to stop the suitors.

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