The Importance of Setting Repetition in Siddhartha and Candide

1165 words 5 pages
The path to maturity and enlightenment can’t be completed in just one step. Trials are the events that define a hero, but even when he reaches the final destination, it isn’t his end identity that is most important; it’s the journey by which he suffers and conquers. In order to experience the troubles that define him, he must travel from his home. The importance of location is vital for a hero because it allows for varying situations and more chance for growth. There are settings, however, that repeat themselves within the course of their quests. This is representative of the cyclical nature of the world and life. One cannot always be somewhere new; there are always recurring events in life that are vital for change. Candide by Voltaire …show more content…

It is in the forest that he, “the awakened one, [is] on the way to himself (39)” after he leaves the great Gotama and awakens. “Siddhartha wander[s] into the forest, already far from the town, and [knows] only one thing – that he [can] not go back, that the life he had lived for many years was past; tasted and drained to a degree of nausea. (87)” It is at this time that he is ready for the final step in his journey that cannot be complete without encountering the eternal river. First crossing the river he prepares himself to experience the pleasures of life. His final visit to the river, however, was permanent. The river is the most important repeating setting in Siddhartha’s life because it is what leads him to his final conclusion that life is a continuing cycle and there is unity in all things. Nature is the ultimate transitional setting for Candide and Siddhartha because it represents the unity of all things. The forest is a symbol of confusion and mystery, where one cannot see what is ahead but it is known a clearing will be reached. Candide becomes lost in a forest where he comes to the conclusion that love comes in many forms and anything is possible. The forest serves a similar purpose in Siddhartha’s life because whenever he passes through it, he comes out of it with a different conclusion about life. Water as a full and united body represents unity and the cycle of life. In Candide’s path to maturity, the sea takes him to places