Opposing Perspectives in Hesse’s Siddhartha and Camus’ The Stranger

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Hermann Hesse and Albert Camus were both talented authors whose works have greatly influenced the world of literature. Hesse’s Siddhartha and Camus’ The Stranger have impacted readers for decades. These novels centralize around a common principle of finding inner truth. The main characters, Siddhartha and Meursault, have very different ideologies by which they live their lives. These opposing perspectives greatly influence their individual decisions and the people around them. The style in which each of these novels is written exemplifies these differences between Siddhartha and Meursault. The impact of the opposing perspectives of Siddhartha and Meursault on their individual decisions and on the people around them is seen through the …show more content…
Siddhartha leaves his father in the beginning of his journey to go off with the shramanas. His father was his first teacher and they were very close. He does not realize the pain he must have caused his father until much later in his life when he is mourning the loss of his own son. Govinda is affected by Siddhartha’s decisions because of their strong friendship. Siddhartha refers to him as “his shadow” because Govinda always follows in the footsteps of Siddhartha (Hesse 15). However, Siddhartha and Govinda go separate ways when Siddhartha decides to go off on his own and away from teaching. Govinda has to live in a completely different way because of Siddhartha’s nature. Kamala is also significantly affected by Siddhartha’s ambitions. They meet when Siddhartha enters the world of the child people and he is employed by an affluent merchant, Kamaswami. They are instantly attracted and fall in love. They understand each other very well and are able to learn a great deal from each other. However, Siddhartha slowly begins to realize that his years with Kamala and living in the city have been distracting him from his goal. He loves Kamala, but his desire to reach spiritual fulfillment outweighs these feelings. Meursault is essentially the opposite of Siddhartha concerning their perspectives on life. He does not understand the value of life and goes through his life looking for ways to pass the time. He can sit for hours observing the street in front of his

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