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Ella Snow's Monomyth

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FC: Siddhartha and The Monomyth | By Ella Snow

3: The Call | Siddhartha’s call occurred when the Samanas passed through his town. He saw three Samanas walking through his town and he was immediately captured. Siddhartha desired to be one of them. They had an “atmosphere of still passion, of devastating service, of unpitying self-denial” (Hesse 9).

4: Refusal of the Call | Siddhartha refuses the call when he asks his father if he could have his fathers’ permission to be a Samana. Siddharthas father conveyed that there was “displeasure in his heart” (Hesse10). Siddhartha wasn’t pleased with this so he went and stood in silence for an entire night. His father questioned Siddhartha; then finally permitted him to join the Samanas.

7: Supernatural Aid | Siddhartha’s supernatural aid is Gotama. Buddha doesn’t give Siddhartha a charm, weapon, or special power. Buddha did, however, give Siddhartha “something of greater value.” Siddhartha said that Buddha “has given to me Siddhartha, myself” (Hesse 36).

9: Crossing The Threshold | Crossing the threshold happened when Siddhartha leaves the Jetavana grove. Siddhartha left and chose not to practice under Buddha, he knew that it was not where he belonged. Siddhartha left the Jetavana grove “in which Govinda remained, he felt that he had also left his former life behind him in the grove” (Hesse 37).

10: The Belly of the Whale | The Belly of the Whale in Siddhartha’s case does not take place physically. It is a completely internal experience that then physically makes him continue on his journey. He stood thinking to himself that he was “already awakened” when he left the grove earlier that morning (Hesse 40). Siddhartha had planned “to return to his home and his father.” However, he thought to himself “I am no longer what I was, I am no longer an ascetic, no longer a priest, no longer a Brahmin. [...] All this is over for me now” (Hesse 40, 41). This shows that even he knew he could not turn back.

11: Road of Trials | Siddhartha’s road of trials begins when the ferryman takes Siddhartha across the river. The first trial he faces is the young woman from the village that “made a gesture” to invite Siddhartha “to that kind of enjoyment of love which the holy books call ‘ascending the tree’” (Hesse 50). He faces other trials but those come with meeting the goddess and giving into temptation.

13: Meeting with a Goddess | Siddhartha’s meeting with the goddess occurs when he meets Kamala. She got Siddhartha an interview with the “richest merchant in the town” (Hesse 59). I believed this to be the meeting with the goddess because Kamala gives Siddhartha the opportunity to be Kamaswami’s equal. “One door after the other is being opened to you.” Kamala said to Siddhartha when he was leaving (Hesse 59).

15: Temptation Away from the True Path | Kamala, as well as being the goddess, is also temptation. Siddhartha succumbs to temptations of the flesh, and he enjoys it, “You are the best lover I have had“ (Hesse 73). Another temptation is wealth, at first Siddhartha’s growing wealth does not faze him. As his wealth grows, so does his stray from the path that he was on. Siddhartha realized that “Property, possessions, and riches had finally trapped him. They were no longer a game and a toy;” (Hesse 79).

16: Atonement with the Father | The atonement with the father happened when Siddhartha left Kamala and his life of riches behind. He went back to the river he had crossed as a child. Siddhartha’s “path once led from his [The Ferryman’s] hut to a new life which is now old and dead” (Hesse 101). Siddhartha gives Vasudeva his fine clothes in exchange to live with and learn from him.

17: Apotheosis | Siddhartha’s apotheosis comes from him listening and learning from the river. He was having a conversation with Vasudeva about the river and how it “‘is everywhere at the same time’” (Hesse 107). Siddhartha said that he learned that “‘the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past, nor the shadow of the future’” (Hesse 107). Siddhartha "reviewed [his] life and it was also a river, and Siddhartha the boy, Siddhartha the man, were only separated by shadows, not through reality" (Hesse 107).

18: Refusal of the Return | I don't believe that there is a true refusal of a return because there is no actual return. The closest thing I could find happened when Siddhartha went after his son who ran away. However, that was not a return because he went back to the river to continue living.

19: Master of Two Worlds | Siddhartha “ceased to fight against his destiny. There shone in his face the serenity of knowledge, of one who is no longer confronted with conflict of desires [...]” (Hesse 136). I believe this quotation shows Siddhartha mastering both worlds. Later in the book Govinda saw Siddhartha smiling “in such a manner, Govinda knew, that the Perfect One smiled” (Hesse 151). I think this reinforces the fact that he has mastered the two worlds.

20: Works Cited | (Hesse 9) (Hesse 10) (Hesse 36 ) (Hesse 37) (Hesse 40,41) (Hesse 59) (Hesse 79) (Hesse 101) (Hesse 107) (Hesse 136) (Hesse 151)

21: Siddhartha Book Cover. Project: 52 in 52. | Web. 4 April 2011. | Fakirs at Amritsar. University of Minnesota Libraries. Herman Hesse's Siddhartha: An Open Source Reader. Web. 10 April 2011. | Sanjeev In. Indian Girl in Traditional Dress. 2008. Super Adsense Wordpress Theme. Indian Shaadi, Relationship Advice For Man And Women. Web. 10 April 2011. | Siddhartha Gautama. Pictures Of Siddhartha Gautama. Web. 10 April 2011. | | Buddhist Garden. Bahiya Sutta About Bahiya. Web. 10 April 2011. |

22: Money from India. 2010. Free Online Jobs. Free Online Jobs. Web. 10 April 2011.

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  • By: Ella S.
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