Monday, May 5, 2014

Golden Cage

Kamala is a intersting character because she teaches Siddhartha how to love but by trying to force him into the realm of the worldly she also teaches him how to hate. When Siddhartha first meets Kamala she says that his talents of waiting, thinking and fasting are useful but not enough to impress her. So she introduces him to a merchant so he can earn worldly things to impress her with. Kamala knows that Siddhartha will not thrive very well in the world of the rich just like a rare songbird will not thrive in a golden prison. Yet she still demands this of him. Though it's against everything that he believes as a Samana, Siddhartha becomes a merchant to learn the art of love. At first, Siddhartha is caring and loving towards everyone he comes across but after a while money becomes of a lot of importance to Siddhartha and he loses his way. After he is possessed by money he turns to hate and not even Kamala can make him love himself and love others again. The irony in this is that Siddhartha went to Kamala to learn the art of love yet instead he learned the art of hate.

Later in the story the reader meets Kamala again but this time she is not surround by servants and other worldly pleasures. Instead her and her young son are on a journey to see the Buddha before he dies. Kamala gives up the pleasure garden and everything she once had for simple clothes and devoted her life to the Buddha doctrine. She apparently realized what Siddhartha had realized about ten years before, that worldly possessions don't bring happiness only hatred. At the beginning all that she wanted from Siddhartha was worldly possessions and said that his gifts of waiting, thinking and fasting were useless. Now she has left behind those possessions and tried Siddhartha's way of waiting, thinking and fasting. Almost ten years after she let Siddhartha out of his golden cage she release herself and soared.