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As Rashid explains to Haroun, the spirits of dead kings live on in the guise of hoopoe birds (25), who are also said to be helpful companions on quests (64). A kind of mechanical hoopoe bird will carry Haroun to the Ocean of the Streams of Story and to Gup City, which is the first stage in his quest. Haroun is accompanied by a Water Genie, who seems to have sprung directly from the Arabian Nights. The various colours of the ocean recall the vividness which is certainly one of the most striking features of the stories of this famous collection, with their countless references to precious gems of various colours. Haroun and the hoopoe are joined by two fish as companions, Bagha and Goopy, whose names, as Rushdie...Salman Rushdie borrows from many cultural stories of both European and Eastern tradition. THe binding force seems to be the natural elements as personifications of the greater world. These elements serve as grounding to any reader. The natural forces involved stir the imagination on a very elemental level. Animal familiar characters as well as characters like the water Genie bind the natural elements together to make a fantastical story.
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