SIDDHARTHA - Fort Thomas Independent Schools

◦ Using book notes in PLACE of reading the
novels is CHEATING!
◦ You will be provided time in class to complete
your readings, so do not cheat yourself by
thinking that you will be able to acquire the
knowledge necessary to pass the test from
those websites/resources alone!
Important Vocabulary Terms
 Ablution
 Atman
 Brahmin
 Courtesan
 Nirvana
 Samana
Important Characters
Gotama Buddha
 Govinda
 Kamala
 Kamaswami
 Siddhartha
 Vasudeva
 Young Siddhartha
The Brahmin’s Son
Why is Sidd unhappy?
Why is his spirit like a “waiting vessel?”
Why is Govinda willing to follow him?
How are the Samanas described?
From his description, how does the author feel about
The Brahmin’s Son
How did Sidd convince his father?
Why didn’t he just go?
Why do you suppose “Mom” doesn’t have more
of a role in the decision?
Why, in the center of this chapter, does Sidd
string together 20 rhetorical questions?
Stages of Development
For Each Stage of Sidd’s Development:
Why/How he moves on
With the Samanas
How does he act when he is with the
 What is his goal?
 What happens when he reaches that goal?
 How does Sidd meditate?
 What frustrates Sidd?
 Complete this quote, “I could have
learned more quickly and easily
With the Samanas
According to Sidd, what can one learn?
Who is Gotama?
What does the author think of him?
What does Sidd do with the oldest Samana?
What does that feat show?
How can you tell that Sidd is still very young?
When Sidd meditates on the animals, what
does the author do to show the change?
When Sidd out-meditates the old Samana,
how does the author show Sidd’s power?
How is Gotama different from the
 How do they recognize him?
 Why does Govinda choose to join him?
 Why won’t Sidd?
 According to Sidd, how will he find
Gotama asks him if his followers will also
find enlightenment. How does Sidd dodge
this question?
 What has the Buddha robbed from him?
 What has he given?
 What does the Buddha mean by “clever?”
 Is Sidd arrogant?
What does Sidd decide to study?
 How is that the one field he has been
ignorant in?
 Why does he feel an “icy chill?”
 He compares himself to a star. How is
that so?
 How is he different now?
 Why, do you suppose, the third sentence
of the chapter is so long?
How has his point of view changed?
 How does the writing style reflect this?
 Complete the quote, “To obey no other
eternal command__________. Nothing
else was necessary.” What does it mean to
 What dream does Sidd see? Will this
woman lead him to enlightenment?
 What does Sidd think of the Ferryman and
the river?
 Why doesn’t Sidd “ascend the tree” with the
Hesse uses a simile to describe Kamala’s
mouth. What is it? What does that say
about the woman?
 How does Sidd prepare for Kamala?
 What does he want from her?
 Why might the portrayal of Kamala by
politically incorrect?
 What three things can Sidd do?
 When Sidd receives his first kiss, the style
changes. How? Why?
 Sidd compares himself to a stone. How is
this so?
Amongst the People
How does Sidd take control of the
 For all of his holy skills, in the end, why
does Kamaswami hire him?
 In your own words, what did Kamala
teach him?
 What makes Sidd good at business?
 Why might he be an excellent partner for
Amongst the People
What does his four day trip to the village
show about Sidd?
 How could that be good business?
 What does Sidd’s inner voice say? How is
life “flowing past” him?
 What do you suppose a Samana heart is?
 How are Sidd and Kamala similar?
Does Sidd have a bad life? What is good
about it?
 What had Sidd learned? (Important stuff)
 What happened when the property finally
became a chain and a burden?
 How does his dice playing echo his real
 What was his Kamala dream about?
What was the Bird dream about?
 Why does he feel dead?
 Why is it important that Kamala is
 Why out of that last trip?
 This chapter uses at least three major
symbols or similes. What are they?
By the River
Why does Sidd wish to kill himself?
 What is the tone of this section? Is it
entirely serious?
 What sound does he hear? How does he
 How is he different when he wakes up?
 Who is sitting with him?
 What does Sidd start lecturing his friend
 How does the river work as a symbol?
The Ferryman
Kamala has a pretty weak role. How
would the story be different if she were
 What would happen if she had a sense of
The Son
What about Sidd would make him a lousy
 How does young Sidd take advantage of
the father?
 What does he try and do for his son?
Why won’t it work?
 Why doesn’t he punish the boy?
 Why is the river laughing? How has Sidd
“gotten his own?”
The Son
How can love be “Samsara”?
 Why does the son hate the father?
 Why did he break the oar?
 In losing his son, what might Sidd have
 When you read this chapter, you might
laugh at Sidd’s troubles. What is ironic
about his losses?
What “wound” does Sidd have? What is
the different light that he sees people in?
 What has been his biggest change since
becoming a ferryman? As a result, how
does the tone of the book change?
 What does the river do when Sidd goes
to see his son? Whose reflection does he
Sidd and Vasudeva listen very, very closely
to the river. What do they hear? Why is
everything interconnected?
 Where does Vasudeva go? (NOT just
into the woods) 
 Although there is one chapter left to go,
the ultimate realization has come in this
one. What is it?
Why is there still restlessness in
Govinda’s heart?
 What is wrong with seeking, according to
 Why doesn’t Sidd have a doctrine? How
can wisdom not be communicable? Can
you communicate knowledge?
 What is the symbolism of the stone?
How can Nirvana and Samsara be the
 What does Govinda see Sidd do?
 What does this show about Sidd’s final
 Could Sidd have become a Buddha while
sitting next to a freeway instead of a
river? Explain your answer.

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