In Herman Hesse?s Siddhartha, Unity is a reflecting theme of this novel and in life. Unity is ?the state of being one or a unit; harmony, agreement in feelings or ideas or aims, etc.? Unity is first introduced by means of the river and by the mystical word ?Om.? Direct commentary from Siddhartha and the narrator also introduces the theme.
Frequent allusions to the river correspond w/ Siddhartha?s infinite thoughts of Unity and his initial plans to strive for it. Siddhartha has a number of specific goals during the course of this novel, but in no way does this detract from the bare nature of his ultimate goal. The accomplishment of specific goals was an important part of the progression approaching his absolute state of Unity.
Siddhartha see things united and somehow entangled in a seemingly endless and meaningless circular chain of events. Allusions frequently show Siddhartha?s conditions by means of clever imagery suggesting circular motion and an immobile state. Siddhartha is first compared to a potter?s wheel that slowly revolves and comes to a stop. From here, Siddhartha meets the elegant and beautiful, Kamala, gets caught ?off track? and entangles himself in a ?senseless cycle? of acquiring and squandering wealth.
In the final chapters, Siddhartha proves that achieving or over-coming obstacles do lead to better Unity. Prior to making a leap forward in reaching his goal, Siddhartha finds himself in despair. He speaks to Vasudeva, the ferryman. The ferryman smiles and says very little, allowing the River to speak for him. Siddhartha listens as the River reveals its first true, complete message.
?Om.? Siddhartha hears.
The River is essential in helping Siddhartha come to an important realization of Unity. He hears the river laugh at him, making him realize that he is acting foolish. He is reminded of his father upon the viewing of his own reflection. Siddhartha realizes that his son?s departure is a duplication of his choice to leave his parents earlier in the story, and thereby is another indication of the Unity of all things.