Honors English 10
3 April 2017
Haroun and the Sea of Stories Summative
Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea Stories is a novel written by Salman Rushdie and published in 1990 that was created to be a modern-day fairy tale, one that he created specifically for his kids, and thusly imprinted upon the views and values he hoped to spread to them. He uses clever yet simple symbols that the reader unconsiously uses to grow as a person, to which kids are often targeted by those under persecution, “It is a platitude that children's literature has historically been produced by marginalized and often disempowered writers,” (Plotz). In Haroun and the Sea of Stories his main focus of the story is on censorship, and how it stifles freewill and creativity. In it, the major theme of the concept of censorship is mainly shown through the lens of a society being silenced and repressed by their enemy, the ultimate end and silence of all, Khattam-Shud; these symbols reflect on how the book is an allegorical text inspired by censorship, most of all his own.
In september of 1988, Salman Rushdie published a novel, known as The Satanic Verses. In the text he criticized the Islamic faith, and wrote on a series of verses that were said to be written by the prophet Muhammad while being tricked by a demon, thinking them divine, from where the novel got its name. Within the novel he condems the religion for its common practice of censoring the views of its members, women, and those who speak against it, of which many are silenced through calls for their deaths, known as fatwās. Ironically enough, a fatwā was issued on him by Ayatollah Khomeini, which only strengthened his resolve for his own freedom of speech, against those who opress him: “I inform the proud Muslim people of the world that the author of the Satanic Verses book, which is against Islam, the Prophet and the Koran, and all those involved in its publication who are aware of its content are sentenced to death.” (Khomeini)
Rushdie, in his symbolicism of censorship, also touches on an important topic in the life of the author: freedom of speech. As afformentioned, when the fatwā was called, he set out to make a work that would show his kids and hopefully the kids of the world a view of the benefits of free speech, even making the enemy of the story the opposite of it, “Khattam-Shud... 'is the Arch-Enemy of all Stories, even of language...