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Siddhartha Character List & Flashcards

Siddhartha Character List & Flashcards
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Ascetic
A person who avoids worldly and material pleasures due to spiritual reasons; the Samanas are ascetics.
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Vasudeva
Vasudeva is a simple ferryman, who Siddhartha realizes is truly enlightened. After Vasudeva's death, Siddhartha takes over as ferryman.
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Gotama
Gotama has achieved enlightenment and is known as the Buddha. Siddhartha chooses not to follow him because he believes he cannot achieve enlightenment through following others.
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Kamaswami
Kamaswami is a merchant who teaches Siddhartha business. Siddhartha uses the money to see Kamala, but otherwise finds making money unfulfilling. Kamaswami is confused by Siddhartha's calm.
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Govinda
Govinda is Siddhartha's oldest friend. He becomes a disciple of Buddha and searches for enlightenment through traditional methods.
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Kamala
A beautiful courtesan who teaches Siddhartha the art of physical love, Kamala falls in love with him and bears his son. Siddhartha chooses to abandon to material world after this experience.
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Siddhartha
After finding the Brahmin rituals he performs empty, Siddhartha sets out to achieve enlightenment in his own way. He finally discovers enlightenment in the motion of a river.
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Flashcard Content Overview

This set of flashcards will help readers of Hesse's classic Buddhist parable Siddhartha navigate its simple yet densely packed prose. Become better acquainted with the character arcs of main characters like Siddhartha, Kamala, and Govinda, and the major themes they represent. Buddhism specific terms like enlightenment, nirvana and asceticism are also covered. Though this short novel is quite complex, understanding the central themes will help readers understand Hesse's unique perspective on what it takes to achieve enlightenment in a materialistic and fast-paced world.

Front
Back
Siddhartha
After finding the Brahmin rituals he performs empty, Siddhartha sets out to achieve enlightenment in his own way. He finally discovers enlightenment in the motion of a river.
Kamala
A beautiful courtesan who teaches Siddhartha the art of physical love, Kamala falls in love with him and bears his son. Siddhartha chooses to abandon to material world after this experience.
Govinda
Govinda is Siddhartha's oldest friend. He becomes a disciple of Buddha and searches for enlightenment through traditional methods.
Kamaswami
Kamaswami is a merchant who teaches Siddhartha business. Siddhartha uses the money to see Kamala, but otherwise finds making money unfulfilling. Kamaswami is confused by Siddhartha's calm.
Gotama
Gotama has achieved enlightenment and is known as the Buddha. Siddhartha chooses not to follow him because he believes he cannot achieve enlightenment through following others.
Vasudeva
Vasudeva is a simple ferryman, who Siddhartha realizes is truly enlightened. After Vasudeva's death, Siddhartha takes over as ferryman.
Ascetic
A person who avoids worldly and material pleasures due to spiritual reasons; the Samanas are ascetics.
Nirvana
Freedom from the endless cycle of death and rebirth that leads to human suffering.
Foil
A foil is a character in a story whose differences with the main character highlight the main character's central qualities. In Siddhartha, foils to Siddhartha include Govinda and Kamaswami.
Enlightenment
Awakened, being free from the illusions of life.
Brahmin
A high-ranking caste whose job is to perform ritual leading to enlightenment. Siddhartha is a member of this caste.
Explain the meaning of the name Siddhartha.
A combination of the Sanskrit words siddha and artha, it means one who has achieved what is being looked for.
Buddha
An enlightened person.
The Semanas
A group of wandering ascetic holy men that Siddhartha joins, and ultimately leaves, while seeking enlightenment.
Explain the goal of knowledge.
According to Buddha, the goal of knowledge is to be saved from suffering.

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