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Word Count: 881
In American Beauty there are a lot of similarities to Herman Hesses Siddhartha Lester the main character is on a trip to find and improve himself and at the same time to escape from his reality Siddhartha was trying to reach the ultimate goal of Buddhism Atman or the pure self Lester starts out in the movie as a total loser whose marriage is a loss according to his daughter sprays his shorts whenever she brings a girl friend home from school He over hears his daughters friend Angela say that he should get buff so he decides to do so This starts his period of self-improvement At almost the same time his search to escape reality begins He meets the new neighbors son and starts to smoke weed with him which gives him a sense of confidence This sense of confidence causes him to quit his job and tell everyone exactly what he thinks of him or her After quitting his job he applies at a fast food restaurant and by chance finds out that his wife is cheating on him Siddahrtha was the son of a Brahmin and knew all there was to know about how to reach Atman but never could find it Through persistence he convinced his father to let him join the Shramanas While with them he went through numerous exercises to try to separate his self from his body and hopefully attain Atman None of these practices worked and he still felt unfulfilled After hypnotizing the head Shramana he went on to follow the Buddha Siddhartha and his best friend had heard numerous stories about the Buddha and were curious to see if he had in fact found a way to attain Atman After hearing all that the Buddha had to say Siddhartha was still skeptical and went to find his own way After leaving the Buddha he met Kamala In his desire for her Siddhartha became materialistic and
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