Siddhartha By Hermann Hesse Summary and Analysis Part 2: With the Childlike People

Summary

This second sequence of Part II develops Siddhartha's acquaintance with Kamala and introduces Siddhartha to Kamaswami. Significant is the meaning inherent in names, beginning with "Kama"; Kama is the Hindu god of lustful love and desire. The word "swami" designates Kamaswami as a master — in this case, the master of the hedonistic, worldly realm.

We can begin to see the conditioning of the Samana's surfacing when Siddhartha takes an indifferent attitude toward business, possessions, and worldly people. Siddhartha can sense that he is different from these worldly "child-people," but he finds this distinction between himself and then problematical. Siddhartha's spiritual background has only partially enlightened him for he has not yet found peace, and he comes to envy these ordinary, unintellectual people. Kamala, nevertheless, is attracted to Siddhartha because of his detachment, this refuge which she feels that only the two of them have. Likewise, Kamala's detachment will also become problematical for it will be discovered that love cannot be dispensed as an art. The most significant event of this section is Siddhartha's mentioning Gotama Buddha to Kamala for the first time. To Siddhartha, Buddha exemplifies the kind of man who possesses a special guide and wisdom within himself. This conversation is of particular significance because it prefigures Kamala's future destiny. The eventual coming of Kamala's future son is also signaled at this point. Time sequence ends with a verbal exchange on the subject of love, significant because an inability to love will be the source of both Kamala's and Siddhartha's despair.

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