Haroun and the Sea of Stories: Reflection

The project my group did is we had an instagram for Salman Rushdie and explained the meaning behind all of the characters in a very cheesy presentation sort of way. I did not enjoy this project then again is didn’t have much say because I was ignored and overpowered because somehow everything I say to them is dumb. Looking back at the project I would grade it low on a design scale because it was essentially a powerpoint within instagram it made an attempt to be creative but just sort of missed the mark. It was unique but didn’t really accomplish anything special compared to the creation of pokemon cards. My idea for the project would have used the instagram idea but to an extreme. Instead of having a Salman Rushdie account there would be accounts for all of the characters and have them interact with each other with realistic posts according to their personality and within those interactions reveal what they were supposed to represent within the story. So for example an interaction between Butt the Hoopoe and the Water Genie could help to reveal aspects of the story or we could interpret the interaction so that the audience understands the meaning of it. If I had the chance to do this project over again I would have been much more vocal and tried to push my ideas out. In the future i would like my projects to be much more creative and not be a powerpointish presentation

 

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Haroun and the Sea of Stories #3

Haroun and the sea of stories ending was brilliantly written in a way that I think brings all of the ideas and themes of the book to a close and wraps it up with a happy ending bow. Our final discussion in class I thought was not very effective. I think that there is just so much about this book that to try to talk about it in one discussion does not really accomplish anything. I didn’t really get to talk about anything I wanted to bring up so i will definitely talk about those topics.

The stories endi
ng was somewhat surprising, i didn’t expect the cities name to be Kahani. I think that there is probably some Catcher in the Rye level symbolism going on here so lets compare the City of gup to the City of Kahani. Kahani is a place that had never experienced happiness and Gup was a place that never experienced Sadness. Gup for the first time feels threatened and is sad that their stories are being ruined just like Salman Rushdie when Satanic verses had come under attack he wasn’t used to this sadness and was very upset. Then just like when Haroun arrives back home everyone is happy and this is symbolic of when Salman Rushdie Continued to write and did not let the Satanic verses controversy stop him from continuing to express his ideas or his stories (KAHANI!!!!!!).

As i promised in my last post I am going to discuss the question whats the point of stories that aren’t even true. I believe that the point of stories is to not to be truthful or inform you of history or fact but to inform you of another truth. You can’t write a truthful story because that’s history. But you can tell a lie and come out with a truth. Stories are meant to impart a truth or moral onto us. I believe what rushdie is trying to tell us with this book is exactly that. Stories are not useless no matter what they say no matter what individual parts they have there is a bigger picture to each one and this book is trying to tell adults to read, kids to read, teens to read, everyone to read because stories are not words they are truths wearing masks of lies.

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Haroun and the Sea of Stories #2

Haroun and the Sea of Stories is turning out to be a very interesting book, I am starting to see more similarities to real life and how parts of the book are mimicking real life problems and issues that are prevalent in the world. The book is becoming less Wonderland as I had first thought in my original post but has become more like a fairy tale and has incorporated morals and meaning behind the whimsical and sometimes nonsensical storyline of this book. Some of what i have seen in this book is that it relates to allegory very strongly, the way it portrays political figures and authority is somewhat satirical but can relate to Salman Rushdie experiences with the Satanic Verses controversy as well as common problems  with governments.

When looking at the government of Gup you see a lot of interesting allegorical devices, one of the biggest I have noticed is the P2C2E that runs everything on Kahani or whatever the water genie doesn’t want to explain. This represents the shield a government has on its citizens, not everything is explained to known to everybody, you can talk about the ideal version of a government but behind all that schmoozing, pork barrel legislation and negotiation are going on. Citizens rely on a government to keep their best interests in mind and not arguably useless things such as Kahani’s movement locker that keeps Chup in Darkness, or in Salman Rushdie’s case where the Ayatollah acted for no benefit to their own people besides controversy and ordered for the death of Salman Rushdie due to his depiction of Muhammed the prophet in his book Satanic Verses.

princebolo
A depiction of Prince Bolo by Adam Coffia

One of the notions that came up in our discussion which I thought was interesting was the book’s look on the self obsessive and often brash nature of politicians. We focused on the army and Prince Bolo of Kahani. The individual soldiers are pages whose uniforms consist of excerpts from famous stories. except each story has been changed by replacing the main character with Prince Bolo. This I think is mocking the self obsessiveness of politicians. Prince Bolo is Rushdie’s character to express his disgust and amusement at politicians, even the name of the character is mocking politicians. The name comes from the word bolna which means to speak which for bolo is usually something stupid and brash, sounds a lot like a politician we all know, cough Trump cough.

A question that I touched on in my last post was why would a politician hire a storyteller who tells whether he has said a lie or not. My answer at this point is that politicians want to tell their citizens a story whether that story is true or not doesnt matter, what really matters is what you get from that story. Mr Snooty Buttoo wants a story to make the people feel good and accepting allowing for them to fall under his influence and give him their vote. In the end this does not happen and Rashid instead tells them about Haroun and the Sea of Stories which inspires them to tell off ol’ Snoody and put someone in power that they actually like.

This book might just be one of my favorite books, there is so much within this book that it seems endless, next post I will be adding a bit to the post where i just want to talk about the classes’ central unit question…..Whats the use of stories that aren’t even true.

There is also an opera about this book…..take a look

I found Adam’s work on his Google Site, all art credit goes to him and does not in anyway belong to me ( It is copyrighted….)

Haroun and the Sea of Stories #1

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