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ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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"Nothing really happens" in SIDDHARTHA

[ Edited ]
A young reader in the book club may comment that "nothing really happens" in SIDDHARTHA. He would like to see more action, perhaps, to help keep his interest in a book like this one. An older reader of the same novel, on the other hand, may see that quite a lot happens in the book, almost an entire life of shifts and changes, and certainly a journey over time toward knowing oneself and toward a greater sense of enlightenment about the meaning of life itself.

Is it possible for both of these readers to be right?

Message Edited by ConnieK on 01-11-2008 09:21 PM
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Sunltcloud
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: "Nothing really happens" in SIDDHARTHA


ConnieK wrote:
A young reader in the book club may comment that "nothing really happens" in SIDDHARTHA. He would like to see more action, perhaps, to help keep his interest in a book like this one. An older reader of the same novel, on the other hand, may see that quite a lot happens in the book, almost an entire life of shifts and changes, and certainly a journey over time toward knowing oneself and toward a greater sense of enlightenment about the meaning of life itself.

Is it possible for both of these readers to be right?

Message Edited by ConnieK on 01-11-2008 09:21 PM




I think action depends on where you're at in your life. For a younger person most of the important "happenings" are of a more fast-paced physical or activity oriented nature and to him/her not much happens in the book. Well, except for a lot of walking. Slow walking. Siddhartha is not a sprinter; he is a long distance walker.

For an older person who has jumped a few hurdles, has carried a stop watch around for years and has finally thrown it away, the action is more obvious.

To me a lot happens in the story within a little more than a hundred pages.

1. Leaving home.
2. Taking a friend along.
3. Becoming an apprentice
4. Moving from one job to another
5. Saying goodbye to the friend
6. Being introduced to sex
7. Becoming rich
8. Deciding that being rich isn't so hot after all
9. Reconsidering the path
10. Taking it easy by the river
11. Watching a past lover lose her life
12. Trying to raise a child
13. Letting the child go
14. Learning the language of the river
15. Reuniting with the friend for a while
16. Being home.

I am a photographer and just as I see the river taking snapshots along the way, I see Siddhartha putting together a scrapbook. He fills it with photos from all the places he has walked through. He writes short notes, long letters, poems. Somewhere he scribbles "Help," on another page he makes a list of all the people he has learned something from. He glues in bills, thank you cards,dried flowers,a snapshot of his son pouting, a close-up of the Buddha shaking his hand, a blurry picture that the old ferryman has taken of their cabin. The final picture is of Govinda walking away.
The last sentence in the scrapbook - written in somebody else's handwriting is: "The river knows everything and everything can be learned from it."
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evansj
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎09-20-2007
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Re: "Nothing really happens" in SIDDHARTHA

I think that different kinds of people (and people of different ages) would view the book in dissimilar ways. For instance, I can imagine some high school students, and even older adults, seeing the book as "boring" and pointless, because the action is not of the kind typically seen in books. In many ways it's similar to how people view Greek mythology or old English writing. Some people think that kind of writing is hard to understand and/or not very exciting. To some degree, you have to be able to read into the text and think about the overall philosophical message, not just the 'action'.
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SAT10
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Registered: ‎01-09-2008
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Re: "Nothing really happens" in SIDDHARTHA

We believe that both people were correct. The amount of action in the book depends on the person's perspective. Age and maturity also play a factor. Reading the book with an open mind and disregarding previous conceptions will help to full comprehend and get the full affect of the book.
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