Discuss the expectations that Siddhartha faces from both outside society and his family/friends. What does it mean for him to become a Brahman?How is this important in his society?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Siddhartha is a Brahman, the highest caste of the Hindu society.  His family, friends, and society expect him to maintain his status as privilege throughout life.  But, Siddhartha feels spiritually empty because he is defined by others, status, and material possessions.  So, he leaves, much to everyone's chagrin.

Siddhartha knows he must renounce his family, friends, and socio-economic status in order to follow the path to enlightenment.  Hesse makes it clear: one must leave society in order to find one's identity and spiritual calling.  Hesse calls it the "inward journey," as it is opposed to that which is outside or against the self.  Hesse champions perfervid individualism, which is a very Western (even existential) view, as opposed to the Eastern (communal).

So says Enotes:

Siddhartha embarks on a journey of self-discovery that takes him through a period of asceticism and self-denial followed by one of sensual indulgence. An encounter with Buddha is intellectually meaningful but not spiritually affecting, and Siddhartha continues his own search, ultimately finding peace by a river. Siddhartha's search for truth and identity, the "inward journey" as Hesse referred to this recurring theme in his work, is reflective of the autobiographical and introspective nature of Hesse's writing.

chantaldubois900 | Student

but what about like "collective identity" in his society???