Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a magical realism novel in which elements of Salman Rushdie’s imagination are put together to demonstrate the importance and significance of storytelling. Through the story, Rushdie conveys to the reader what his notion of good story elements are. One of these elements is a story’s ability to possess antithetical relationships. Haroun and the Sea of Stories contains many symbols alluding to the value of complementary elements of a story; these symbols also being a representation of these values in life.
One of the initial contrasts we encounter is in Rashid Khalifa’s two titles. Those who are opposed to his story telling have bestowed upon him the name, “The Shah of Blah. ” The others, who enjoy Rashid’s stories, refer to him as “The Ocean of Notions. ” (13) The less flattering of the two titles denotes disdain for Rashid because of the belief that he is a man who is a source of useless tales and endless revelry in his storytelling. The latter brings forth connotations of admiration of boundless imagination and creativity.
Such dissimilarities are bound to occur with a man of Rashid’s interest. These titles are fairy different, but they complement each other in a certain way that makes Rashid’s character slightly more complex. If he was a character who was met with universal respect or contempt, then he would not be as dynamic, ergo less interesting. Another major aspect of the story that demonstrates this notion is the relationship between the Chupwalas and the Guppies.
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In the beginning each group had its own way of living, which they believed to be the most respectable. Then on page 191, after Khattam-Shud has been defeated the Guppies and the Chupwalas live together in a peace where “Night and Day, Speech and Silence, would no longer be separated into zones by Twilight Strips and Walls of Force. ” Prior to this, each group was a sovereign entity, keeping to their traditions without much success. Then, when the barriers were broken, they were able to appreciate each other’s corresponding differences.
The light and dark as well as the silence and the speech accompanied each other and made for a more vibrant society. Through examples like these, Salman Rushdie was able to portray the value of antithetical elements in stories. His examples showed that opposing ideas can fuse sometimes and create a more diverse concept. Rashid’s names showed that he was a very imaginative story teller, but sometimes he was not aware of how people could view his perception of reality and this creates a multifaceted character in which people can show more interest.
The relationship between the guppies and the chupwalas was an illustration of the harmonization of two juxtaposing concepts and how different ideologies come together to create a much more fascinating society. All of these models can be carried over to the world of storytelling, where the story is much more entertaining when there is a slew of events that are totally different in occurrence and tone, but these events make for great amusement.
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