Siddhartha And Sinuhe: Compare And Contrast

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The novel, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, delineates a former Brahmin who handles grueling adversity to attain a personal objective of eternal enlightenment. The fictional novel takes place in the country of India, reigning from small towns to vast rivers and forests. Siddhartha, being the main character in the novel, was not entitled to the Brahmin culture and was determined to ascertain the nature of his existence. Furthermore, the film, The Egyptian directed by Michael Curtiz, depicts Sinuhe, a struggling physician who would also endure challenges to achieve his ambitions. The film would take place in the country of Egypt under the monarchy of Akhnaton. As main protagonists in their respective stories, Siddhartha and Sinuhe would be similar in terms of choosing their spiritual beliefs and encountering romantic distractions but would differ in terms of their childhood development.

First and foremost, both Siddartha and Sinhoue would be similar in terms of choosing their spiritual beliefs. Siddhartha’s variation in spiritual beliefs would be transparent when “Govinda realized from the first glance at his friend’s face that now it was beginning to unfold itself, and with his destiny, his own. And he became as pale as a dried banana skin” (Hesse 9). Siddhartha would seek Gotama Buddha in search of eternal enlightenment, only to disagree with his way of teaching and chooses to assimilate by himself. Siddhartha is truly convinced that the only way for people to learn is not by other people’s perspectives but rather to experience situations firsthand. Though his dad, who was a prosperous Brahmin, was hesitant at first, he would apprehend Siddhartha’s aspirations and permits him to endeavor what he believes is best for his son. Correlating to the denouement of The Egyptian, Sinuhe intends to promote Atenism, a monotheistic religion worshipping the Egyptian Sun god and was preached by pharaoh Akhnaton. A spiritual belief hated by the newly inaugurated pharaoh, Sinuhe would be exiled until the day of his passing. Having similar attributes, it would be apparent that spiritual beliefs influenced both the film and the novel.

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Additional correspondence between Siddhartha and Sinuhe would be the diversions they would encounter, primarily them devoting significant time seeking for love. In the novel, Siddhartha would meet several women throughout his journey, one of which is a wealthy courtesan name Kamala. Kamala would insist, “No my dear, he does not yet suffice. He must have clothing, lovely clothing, and shoes, lovely shoes, and lots of money in his purse, and gifts for Kamala” (Kamala 54). Siddhartha urges Kamala to teach him the meaning of love and by doing so, he needed to attain prosperity. However as Siddhartha claims the affluence of a merchant occupation, he had become exceedingly depressed and was overwhelmed by an unwanted materialist ideology. Other subordinate yet problematic situations Siddhartha could have avoided would be the realization of his son and witnessing Kamala’s passing. In comparison to The Egyptian, Sinuhe would run into Nefer, a rich Babylonian courtesan inside of Akhnaton’s reign. Sinuhe would intensely pursue his affection towards Nefer by providing nearly all his prized possessions, only to be repudiated every time. This would not only distract Sinuhe from his ambition to help the poor but pursuing Nefer had led to his parents to commit suicide over his wrongful behavior. From these two stories, it would be transparent that the way women were portrayed in their respective stories had an impact on these protagonists.

Siddhartha and Sinuhe being similar for the most part, the two characters would be different in terms of the way they were raised. Siddhartha’s character would be portrayed when the novel states, “ There was happiness in his father’s heart because of his son who was intelligent and thirsty for knowledge; he saw him growing up to be a great learned man, a priest, a prince among Brahmins” (Hesse 4). The quote shows how Siddhartha was extraordinarily educated and is respected by others. Acclaiming such admiration meant that people had exceedingly high expectations for Siddhartha to become a successful Brahmin like his father. On the other hand, Sinuhe was abandoned at birth and had been thrown in the Nile River. He would be raised by foster parents and had decided to become a physician like his foster dad. In becoming an obliquing profession, Sinuhe had fully committed to helping those who were going through severe poverty. Alongside a contrasting setting, it would be clear that the two characters in their stories would have dissimilar backgrounds.

The novel, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, and the film, The Egyptian by Mika Waltari, are two similar and dislike fictional stories. While the two main protagonists, Siddhartha and Sinuhe, would be indistinguishable in terms of their spiritual beliefs and romantic interferences, they would also differ in the way they grew up. Novel or film, both stories would narrate their unique tale in which shows the main character having distinctive goals. However, to achieve ambitions, these protagonists would be tested on personal obstacles which dictate whether they are unsuccessful or prosper in the end.  


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