english final paper

english final paper - Intro to Fiction Professor Stern Sea...

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Intro to Fiction Professor Stern 05/04/07 Sea of Stories In Salman Rushdie's outlandish story, Haroun and the Sea of Stories , the reader is introduced to Rushdie's unique perspective on fairy tales. Haroun, the main character, is launched head first into a make believe land where none of the normal rules of reality apply. Unlike most fantasy stories, the reader is completely aware of the change, and the distinction between the real world and the fantasy world is obvious. This allows the reader to maintain a sense of detachment. In doing this, Rushdie is also able to completely make up his own rules for the fantasy world, as the reader is not expected to become fully immersed in the fantasy world – it is no secret to either the main character or the reader that the world is in fact, fake. This allows Rushdie to teach the reader some valuable lessons as he crafts the opposite cities of “Gup” and “Chup”, and as he attempts to show the reader just how important story really is. The initial detachment that Rushdie establishes is perhaps the most important motif developed in the early part of the story. Indeed, the very first line is indicative of this: “There was once, in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name” (Rushdie, 15). This opening sentence provides the fantastical context for the rest of the book. It could be made no clearer that this story is totally fictional. “Alifbay” is a obviously a made up country, letting the reader know that the setting of this story will be different from any place found on earth. Secondly, the reader is clued into the fact that even the rules of this world will be completely different, as a city is given emotions and the capability to remember. Rushdie does something very important here – he allows himself to make his own rules. His motive soon becomes clear, as he is able to provide a dualistic narrative through this device. One narrative which is rooted in the real world – which is where Haroun and his father are originally from; another which is rooted in the fantasy world – which
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is where the main part of the story takes place, and is the playground where Rushdie is able to create a story within a story. It is within this fantasy world that his motive in creating a sense of detachment within a dualistic narrative is found: Rushdie wishes to show how important story is within the confines of another story. As the story moves on, it is important for the reader to maintain a connection between the real world which the reader exists, the real world of Haroun and his father, and the fantasy world of Gup and Chup. It is interesting that the real world of Haroun is a fantasy world to the reader, meaning that the fantasy world of Gup and Chup is just as artificial as Haroun's real world. Realizing this, it is not
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