Explore the symbolic importance of the songbird in the golden cage to both Siddhartha and Kamala from Siddhartha.

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caledon eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The symbol of a bird in a cage is a classic (and sometimes overused) analogy for a loss of freedom. It is in the bird's nature to fly, and yet flying is impossible inside the cage. Thus we might consider living in a cage to be completely antithetical and antagonistic to the bird's nature, its "purpose" in life. This is the perspective by which the bird is interpreted in SiddharthaWe might go a step further and imply that the bird is everyone; anyone can attain freedom and enlightenment, but the details of our materialistic lives trap us.

Siddhartha's dream, in which the bird has died and he...

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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mkcapen1 | Student

In the book Siddhartha the songbird sits in the cage all day and sings for its freedom.  Siddhartha feeds and looks at the song bird.  Just like the songbird sings for the life he does not have, Siddhartha can not find happiness where he is in his place in the world. Later he dreams that the songbird dies.  This is symbolic of Siddhartha's feelings of oppression in his current life and his need to escape.

After Siddhartha comes to terms with the fact that riches and acquiring them is just a game, that he is not capable of really loving another human, and that he is unhappy, he sets his oneself free by leaving everything behind to go off to find his way back to his innocent and pure self. 

Kamala lets the songbird go free just as she has let Siddhartha go free.  To care about someone is to set him off on the path that he needs to follow.  She knows he will not be back.  The bird is set free as a symbol of the same situation.  The bird will be free and will not come back either.

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