Recently after reading, “Siddhartha,” by Herman Hesse and watching, “Antwone Fisher,” directed by Denzel Washington, both the main characters go through a journey of finding themselves. There are quite some similarities between Siddhartha and Antwone, but there are more differences. Siddhartha is a spiritual pilgrim, completely focused on his quest for self-enlightenment. Antwone Fisher, is an unstable male that’s enlisted in the Navy, that “came from under a rock. ” They both go through a lot of problems until they can get to their end goals.
Both characters receive teachings and learn life lessons, ut they get it in different ways. Similar to when they both go through love. Antwone’s experience with love is completely different froms Siddhartha’s experience. But one thing that connects them in my eyes are the ending when they find unity. The concept of how Sidd and Fish find peace and themselves is very similar. Siddhartha and Antwone have a similar type of journey, but they get there in different ways. Teacher. A person who provides education.
Antwone and Siddhartha reach their happiness because of the teachers that were supporting them. Siddhartha concludes he needs to find enlightenment. He decides he wants to join the Samanas, wandering ascetics that practice self-denial. While apart of the Samanas, he learns they need to forget all human things like emotions and desires. “Siddhartha learned a great deal from Samanas; he learned many ways of losing the Self. He travelled through voluntary suffering and conquering of pain, through hunger, thirst and fatigue. (Hesse 15)
Siddhartha did enjoy being with the Samanas, but he was still not at peace so he left. After three years of being with the Samanas, he heads off to go see Buddha. After listening to the Buddha’s teachings, Siddhartha doesn’t see anything the Buddha can teach that he can’t learn on his own. The Siddhartha continues his journey and reaches a river and a ferryman, Vasudeva. Vasudeva tells Siddhartha the river can be the best teacher. The next day Siddhartha travels into a town, where he meets a courtesan, Kamala. Kamala teaches Siddhartha about sex and the pleasures one can get.
Since Kamala thinks wealth is one of the most important things, she advises Siddhartha to start working. Siddhartha starts working for Kamaswami, one of the richest merchants in the town. While working for him, he learns to start ambling, drinking, eating meat, all the things he would have never done. Soon enough Siddhartha realizes he’s got off track, forgetting about the enlightenment he was in search for. So, one morning he decides to leave all his wealth, Kamala and Kamaswami behind and go back. He finds himself back at the river, and he starts telling Vasudeva everything he went through.
Vasudeva sits there listens and listens until Siddhartha is done. He tells Sidd to go and listen to the river. As he listened, his soul started warming up and little by little he had finally reached nlightenment, through all the teaches he had been taught. In contrast, Antwone was always an uptight. He had extreme anger issues and always caused fights. Being in the Navy, fighting wasn’t acceptable, so every time he caused trouble Antwone was sent off to the medical center. At the center, he had to see Dr. Davenport, the psychiatrist, and talk his anger out.
Antwone felt he doesn’t need to be there so he leaves. He continues to get into fights and always ends back up at the medical office, and since Antwone refuses to talk Dr, Davenport waits and waits till he’s ready to speak. As his weekly sessions ontinue, he starts talking about his past and all the troubles he went through. Antwone talks about his father being murdered, his mother being in prison, that he was raised in a cruel foster home and the girl he likes. The only thing Dr. Davenport did was listen, he just listened to everything Antwone had to say.
Davenport helped Antwone talk all the anger out and explain what he’s looking for. With the help of Dr. Davenport, he could finally get the courage to go out on his own and find his family. With the help of Dr. Davenport, he could finally get the courage to take the girl he likes, Cheryl, out on a date. Davenport played a big role in Antwone’s life, he was the teacher, his father and his “ferryman. ” Dr. Davenport was Antwone’s all-in-one. The difference is Antwone didn’t need to confine in multiple people like Siddhartha did.
Antwone just needed that one person that would open him up and get him talking. Whereas Siddhartha wasn’t pleased with one person, but after he lived all the different types of life, he was able to find himself. Unity. The state of being united or joined as a whole. Antwone comes from a very violent background, that’s filled with beatings, sexual abuse and neglect. He never knew who his arents were, he lived with a foster family, and they treated him in all sorts unpleasant ways. His ultimate goal was to figure out who his parents are, what are they doing and why did they leave him.
But he never had the courage to go looking for them until, Dr. Davenport, the psychiatrist, talked to him. Antwone decided one day, he’s going to go back to Cleveland and look for his parents. After a lot of searching, he got in contact with his father’s sister. He meets up with the family and his uncle took him to go see his mother. He sees his mom, he talks to her and returns back to his aunts. Now when he walks in Antwone is greeted by all his uncles and aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, and then his grandparents.
Antwone hears all his different voices, sees all these different faces and he realizes there all his family, which warms his soul up. They’re all there for him and to support him now. He’s finally with his real family, people who will love him and his brings him to peace with himself, it gives him unity. Similarly, Siddhartha leaves the Brahmin class and joins the Samanas, in search of finding enlightenment. He doesn’t find satisfaction with the Samanas, so he goes on to see the Buddha. After listening to the Buddha’s his teaching, Sidd still isn’t pleased.
Sidd leaves again, and travels through the forest, reaching a river and a ferryman. Like his pattern, he listens to Vasudeva, stays a night and leaves again. He goes to a nearby town stays there for years becomes a big rich businessman, but realizes that’s not what he wants so he leaves and heads back to the ferryman. After talking to Vasudeva, he tells Sidd to listen to river. Sidd’s soul warms up as he hears all the sounds of the voices. “He could no longer distinguish the different voices… They all belonged to each other. ” (Hesse 135) After that experience, Sidd reached unity also.
Finally, Antwone and Siddhartha, received the peace and unity they had been longing. Love. An intense feeling of deep affection. After joining the Navy, Antwone meet Cheryl. She is a fellow Naval recruit with who Antwone is love-struck by. When Antwone sees her, his tongue gets twisted and he doesn’t know what to say. Then one afternoon, Cheryl has the courage to ask Antwone out and of course he says yes. But since he’s really shy around her and doesn’t want her to see his temper side, he consults with Dr. Davenport. After getting encouragement, they’re date was successful.