“Yes,” said the Ferry man, “ a very beautiful river, I love it more than anything. Often I have listened to it, often I have looked into its eyes and always I have learned from it. Much can be learned from a river. ” There are many possible themes for this book that would all be valid because of all the life lessons that Siddhartha provides. Love is the most prevalent because it is present throughout the entire story, just in different forms, at different times.
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As the story unfolds, Love’s role changes depending on the situation and people involved.
At the beginning of the story, Siddhartha made a decision to go on a great quest, to find himself, through other people and different types of experiences. This meant leaving his family and hometown where he grew up and became the man he was thus far. Although he wanted to leave his home, he still respected his family, by waiting around until his father accepted his son’s choice.
Even after his father accepted this, Siddhartha did not bolt out of his home, he kissed his mother on her cheek as he was asked to. Even though Siddhartha rejected his father’s love, they will always love each other unconditionally.
Siddhartha makes it seem like he will never love anybody, but another example of him sharing love, is with Govinda. Govinda was always there for Siddhartha, starting when he first began his quest with Siddhartha, to find ‘self. ’ When they meet Buddha and Govinda decides to stay and practice his religion, Siddhartha respects his choice. As the story goes on, they will meet again at different places and times in their lives, but the bond is still there. Every time that thy meet it is as if they were never apart. This shows that Siddhartha is capable of having a strong relationship with someone, involving love.
When Siddhartha first saw Kamala, he knew that he wanted to meet her and be with her, for one reason or another. He used his skills from being an ascetic to do what she asked for, like, getting expensive clothing, finding a job, and getting her expensive gifts. She taught him many lessons such as physical love while they were together. Siddhartha was more than capable of loving her, he just would not let him self and choice not to because he still had much to learn about himself, hence was not ready to settle down. Siddhartha was unable to fully love Kamala because he did not love himself, which is necessary to love someone else.
If Kamala had not died when they met again, I am sure things would have worked out. She may have taught him the most valuable lesson about true love, but he does not realize what he has learned until later in the story. After Siddhartha returned to the river and the Ferryman for the second time he has not found him self, exactly, but he knows what he does not want to be. The Ferryman helps Siddhartha see the great potential and answers that the river has to share. He eventually loves the river just like The Ferryman does, but there is one last thing he needs to do in order to reach enlightenment; he must accept love, and give it.
When Siddhartha realizes that he has a son and Kamala dies, young Siddhartha runs away to go on the same quest as his father. Siddhartha is crushed by his action and chases after him. Siddhartha now sees what she has taught him; if you truly love someone, then you will let them go. Siddhartha realizes that he loved Kamala, and loves his son, ultimately reaching enlightenment. The one thing that Siddhartha pushed away all of his life, was the one thing he needed to find himself; completing his quest.