Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Balance, Responsibility, Fantasy: Growing Up in Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Alice in Wonderland 10th Grade

“Imagination is the only weapon

In the war against reality.”

- Jules de Gaultier, French Philosopher


Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories and Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are literary works related by the common theme of growing up by way of finding balance and taking personal responsibility. The protagonists in these two stories must undertake a journey into a magical world that is far from perfect and could arguably be viewed as each author’s caricature of their society. It is therefore not surprising that Rushdie’s contemporary children’s fiction and Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s masterpiece have several equivalent thought-provoking quotes. Furthermore, it is hardly surprising that both authors have used similar literary devices, of which the most important ones are metaphors, double-meanings, allegories and extended versions of literary debt.

Rushdie’s Haroun begins his story as an 11-year-old happy son of a gifted storyteller Rashid, who has
grown up with his father’s magical stories in a “city that is so sad it has forgotten its name”
[[Chapter 1] 1] but experiences his first traumatic experience, when he and his father are abandoned
by his mother Soraya. Haroun becomes frustrated and he...

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