Triadic Structure In Herman Hesse's Siddhartha

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In the novel Siddhartha, Herman Hesse describes the Western ideology of attaining Nirvana. Hesse`s use of triadic structure is one of many reasons why the novel is so closely read and analyzed. During Siddhartha`s travels his journey takes him to three different locations. Of which includes his life as a Samana on one side of the river, a city merchant on the other side of the river, and finally he finds himself on the river as a ferryman. Hesse seems to have mastered a three ring circus, as the novel finds itself broken up into a constant trio. This use of triadic structure works to outline the plot of Siddhartha, by stylistically writing a novel structured around the dynamic of three. This results in the development of Siddhartha`s character and eventual destination of Nirvana. …show more content…
As one could imagine, Siddhartha is awakened with the idea that he is spiritually unattached. Because he cannot continue to follow the Buddha's teachings, he must seek a new path to Nirvana. In the next three chapters, Siddhartha is seduced by a life of the flesh and material goods. In order to achieve this lifestyle and impress the precious Kamala he becomes a merchant. The interlude to this second triad of three chapters is called, "By the River". It is in this chapter that Siddhartha realizes that he is not really happy and wishes for death to strike him. The chapter concludes with Siddhartha at the river. This sets up the final three chapters located at the river. Siddhartha works alongside the ferryman he looks to learn his teachings. By realizing that Nirvana is found through a life of combined experiences, he achieves his goal in the final chapter, "Om”. The final chapter of Siddhartha also illustrates the results of Siddhartha's amplified thinking and experiences. As, with help from the river, he helps his friend Govinda reach