For my Gifted Honors English class or more eloquently called Ghenglish ( Fen-glish) we are reading a book titled Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. With most books I am forced to61ft1wxz12bl-_sy344_bo1204203200_ read I will hate them for the sake of hating them, I did this with this book too until I began to read it. From what my teacher Mr. heidt told me the book is like a children’s story and speaks to you. I thought this would be a bunch of philosophical bull shit and I will admit I am pleasantly surprised with the fact that I thought wrong ( a rare occasion). When I began reading the first impression I had was, “Did I just land in Wonderland?” This was because I was not reading something I was used to, it was different, ambiguous and terrifying. I was expecting a simple story, because the book had been described to me as a children’s story I expected it to have sounded like goodnight moon. The rich language used by Rushdie surprised me and intrigued me and pulled me into the story in a way I doubted it could.

While reading through the lense of allegory I saw many symbolic references to the real world and especially to modern day politics. For example the very lyrical  warnings that were all around the bus depot informed drivers that going fast is not a good idea and you should always go slowly. Yet when haroun and Rashid travel with Butt they are going so fast and wind up getting to their destination and having a nice time. As I saw it this is symbolic of the way that the government is slow to enact policy change sometimes taking decades for important social and economic goals to come into effect. Another part of the book that I noticed is rashid may be a good man but a question is lurking in my head. Why are the men he works for, such as Mr. Buttoo or the two men in yellow pants such rude, mean people. If Rashid likes to tell stories and make sure people know they are false why would politicians such as these, who lie hire a storyteller who informs people the stories aren’t true?

I was not a large part of my class because I was behind on reading the book but what I got out of the discussion was that we are still getting accustomed to the book and that we will later on have discussions that can incorporate more of the text rather than forming opinions.

Related stuff: Social Change

 

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One thought on “Haroun and the Sea of Stories #1

  1. Eric,
    A couple of things here…first, I love the fact that you’ve labeled the story “ambiguous.” I think you’re spot on…like water, the story takes on the shape of the container it is in…you, others, plot lines from alluded to stories, etc. Ambiguity and getting comfortable with it is something you (all of you) need to work on, because the world isn’t black and white as we would hope it would be. “The world is a story we tell ourselves about the world” and hence, the ambiguity and difficulty of living with other people in general, and of trying to make sense of things in the bigger (allegorical????) picture.

    You fight things so hard sometimes because on face they don’t make sense. Don’t be so quick to dismiss things. Doing so keeps you from understanding the levels and shades of grey (oh! that relates to this story, too) that are our actual realities/stories.

    Oh, and this is just a wonderful question that I hope you pursue: If Rashid likes to tell stories and make sure people know they are false why would politicians such as these, who lie hire a storyteller who informs people the stories aren’t true?

    Like

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