Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Rushdie and the Sea of Metaphors 11th Grade

As easy as it is to take advantage of simplicity, some authors understand the depths of the complex world enough to transcend boundaries and speak to both the fruitful guiltlessness of youth and the world’s seeds, hardest to swallow. In 1990, renowned British-Indian novel writer and essayist, Salman Rushdie published Haroun and the Sea of Stories, following the controversy of his last novel The Satanic Verses, (which earned Rushdie a fatwa from the spiritual leader of Iran- Ayatollah Khomeini- ordering his execution) The Story involves a boy named Haroun- the son of a famous story teller-who, after his parents split up and his father loses his storytelling skills, escapes to another planet where stories come from. Aided by a water genie named Iff and a bird-machine named Butt the Hoopoe, Haroun finds himself at the center of a war waged by an evil figure called Khattam Shud who pollutes stories and language. Almost every aspect of the story can be read into more deeply than just its literal function within the book. The relationship between Haroun and his father mirrors the way that the fatwa affected Rushdie's family. The character of Khattam Shud and his demand for silence serve as commentary on the role that power and...

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