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One can find many similar recurring themes in the novels Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and Perfume by Patrick Suskind Both authors use an aspect of nature as a symbol the river Since the time of the ancient Chinese Pharaohs Romans and Greeks people have believed that the flow of the river represents the flow in ones life They use the river to symbolise peoples existence In both books the river portrays spiritual aspects that tell the characters life stories whether they take place in the past present or future to show the consistency of the river and of life In Siddhartha Hesse uses the river to reflect the life cycle of organisms on earth For example Vasudeva explains to Siddhartha that the river has taught him that everything comes back Hesse 40 Rivers resemble the human cycle of life because they flow their water evaporates and then these evaporated particles reappear as rain and continue the flow Similarly people do not always exist but instead their children can go on to produce more children and so on continuing lifes cycle Furthermore when Siddhartha meets Vasudeva again Siddhartha comprehends the significance of the river and explains it to Vasudeva saying It is everywhere at the same time at the source at the waterfall at the current in the ocean everywhere and that the present only exists for it not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future Hesse 87 Not only does the human cycle of life share similarities with the river but ones life portrays the characteristics of the river as well One grows from childhood into maturity and into old age only to die or relive another life in the afterworld Every part of that persons life whether on earth or in another world has a reality and presence So the existence of the river gives a clear parallel to the life of humans In Perfume the river appears in every
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