This essay sample on Haroun And The Sea Of Stories Analysis provides all necessary basic info on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.
I will be comparing and contrasting “The decent of Inanna” which is part of the cycle of many other stories in this book which date back to around 5000 years. Wolkstein and Kramer take us back to these years when humans found different ways to communicate before language was introduced; through sound, like the repetition in Inanna which brings a musical beat into mind, body gestures, like the shadow warrior Mudra, and pictures, like the cuneiforms shown in Inanna.
This book was interpreted by a folklorist who collected and recorded the tales, legends and songs of modern contemporary societies and a cuneiformist who has restored and translated the written tales, legends and songs from the Sumerians times. On the surface, Haroun and the Sea of Stories appears to be a simplistic, light-hearted novel that reads almost like a children’s tale.
Beneath the surface, however, something much more profound is stirring, which brings us on an adventure where stories have been passed on and interpreted to create a mythical allusion of a sea of stories as Salman Rashdie wrote.
This allusion is shown on page 72. He looked into the water and saw that it was made up of a thousand thousand thousand and one different currents, each one a different colour, weaving in and out of one another like liquid tapestry of breath taking complexity; and Iff explained that these were the streams of story, that each colored strand represented and contained a single tale.
Different parts of the Ocean contained different sorts of stories, and as all the stories that had ever been told and many that were still in the process of being invented could be found here, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was in fact the biggest library in the universe.
And because the stories were held here in fluid form, they retained the ability to change, to become a new version of themselves, to join up with the other stories and so become yet other stories. ” Both passages, the decent of Inanna and the dark ship play an important part in Inanna’s and Haroun’s character development. Inanna wants to open her wisdom to the great below, since this is the place where Inanna can obtain the knowledge of death and rebirth, life and status that will make her honorable and a guide to the land. “From the great above she opened her ear to the great below”.
Her ear refers to wisdom since it is coiled like a labyrinth which takes in sound and begins to transform the imperceptible into meaning shown on page 52. Haroun also has to descend to the South Pole to fight the antagonist Khattan-Shud (who personifies censorship) to save his father and everyone else from having story droughts. This can be compared to Inanna’s decent since they have the same environment on their journeys both having dry, dark and cold atmospheres. “The waters of the ocean were growing thicker by the mile, thicker and colder; many of the streams of story were full of a dark slow moving substance that looked like molasses”.
In both stories there is a motif of light and dark which are always being brought into perspective, usually through the characters or places. They often complement each other to form a whole, like the ying-yang symbol. For example, Inanna who is Queen of Heaven and earth does not have knowledge about the underworld; she therefore descends to come in contact with the unconscious, rejected dark side of herself who can be considered a witch since she has been unloved, abandoned, forced to rule the underworld which causes her to be very lonely, angry and greedy.
Ereshkigal then takes all of Inanna’s accomplishments to show her what it is like to have nothing. “When she entered the seventh gate, from her body the royal robe was removed. Inanna asked: what is this? She was told: quiet, Inanna, the ways of the underworld are perfect. They may not be questioned. Naked and bowed low, Inanna entered the throne room”. (60) Ereshkigal, the darker side of Inanna can be compared to Haroun’s shadow, which can represent the loss of his mother. Once Haroun makes the connection that Mr.
Sengupta has taken the form of the antagonist Khattan-Shud it creates a foreshadowing of a realisation that implies not merely that stories mirror reality but expose truth and shape of opinion. This gives Haroun the strength to fight the Cultmaster due to the fact that Mr. Sengupta was the reason his mother left. “I know you, Haroun shouted. You’re him. You’re Mr. Sengupta and you stole my mother and you left the fat lady behind and you’re a sniveling, driveling, mangy, stingy, measly, weaselly clerk. Where are you hiding her?
Maybe she’s a prisoner on this ship! Come on hand her over. ” ( 155) The Cultmaster personifies censorship and evil and it is inherited in his character’s tone (monotone) which is ironic since his name, Khattan-Shud means “end” giving an impression that stories are ending and starting all the time during this book. He has good reason to try and put an end to stories which is that’s stories have too much power, they can create many disasters and cause disruption due to the fact that one person could have mingled with a story instead of sticking to the facts.
The Cultmaster came over and peered into Haroun’s face. What brought you up here eh? He asked in his dull dull voice. Stories I suppose. He said the word stories as if it were the rudest, most contemptible word in the language. What starts with stories ends with spying, and that’s a serious charge, boy, no charge more serious. You’d have done better to keep your feet on the ground but you had your head in the air. You’d have done better to stick to facts, but you were stuffed with stories. You’d have done better to have stayed home, but up you came.
Stories make trouble. An Ocean of stories is and Ocean of trouble. “(155) Time is important in both stories, half of the year Inanna and Dumuzi will be united, trees will blossom but as the seasons change, Dumuzi will enter a period of inactivity, quietude and meditation due to the times of harvest. “You will go to the underworld half the year, your sister, since she has asked will go the other half. On the day you are called, that day you will be taken. On that day Geshtianna is called, that day you will be set free. ” (87)
In Haroun and the sea of stories, seasons differentiate between the guppies which symbolize spring since it is always dry, hot and sunny in their land and the chupwalas symbolize winter due to the rain and darkness. Also the cycle of life is shown since the story starts and ends almost the same way as if none of it had ever happened as if it were a dream. “In the north of the sad city stood mighty factories in which (so I’m told) sadness was actually manufactured, packaged and sent all over the world, which never seemed to get enough of it.
Black smoke poured out of the chimneys of sadness factories and hung over the city like bad news”. (15) At the end of the novel, as the citizens of the city Kahani rejoice over their newfound name, water pours from the sky, suggesting the lasting happiness that language can bring. Showing the memory of the name Kahani, which happens to mean story, as the one thing that can make a sad city happy, Rushdie implies the vast importance of freedom of speech and words. “Looks like the old city finally learnt how to have fun, Rashid grinned. But why?
Haroun asked. Nothing’s really changed, has it? Look, the sadness factories are still in production, you can see the smoke; and almost everybody is still poor… ” “has something happened while we’ve been away? A miracle for example? It’s just the rain, replied the old bird. It’s making everybody happy. ” (208) Marginalization is seen in both books, the norm in Inanna is the male, for example Enki and Ereshkigal compliment each other. Enki is conscious, has the power of life and light whereas Ereshkigal is unconscious, has the power of death and darkness.
The human race obviously is more comfortable in the daytime then at night due to the fact that we are not nocturnal, we cannot see very well in the dark which brings a sense of insecurity. The male has been the norm in our society since the beginning of human life. The man is seen as the one with reason, authority and strength whereas the woman is seen as the one with emotion, mercy and weakness which makes her inferior. In Haroun and the sea of stories, story tellers and speech are the norm and silence, shadows and repression are the other.
Once Rashid has his story telling drought, there is a power shift and silence, shadows and repression become the norm. The shadows still have a life of their own; however it is no longer regarded as the bad side of a person. This transition can even be seen in Haroun’s thoughts in which gruesome “combat” turns into something as beautiful as a “dance”. “And as they fought each other, standing toe to toe, Haroun began to think of their combat as a dance of great beauty and grace, a dance danced in perfect silence because the music was playing inside the dancer’s heads (124).
” Haroun explains this a little further, “… he dance of the Shadow Warrior showed him that silence had its own grace and beauty (just as speech could be graceless and ugly); and that Action could be as noble as Words; and that creatures of darkness could be as lovely as the children of the light (125). ” Haroun connects two opposite things, such as Action and Words and connect them with “could be”, indicating that he generally does not associate these actions with being “noble”. Haroun is only able to make these connections due to the shadow warrior, just a couple of pages before, shadows were seen as doom, however this idea subverts itself and turns the idea into grace and beauty.
In conclusion, both stories have many similarities however they are portrayed in different ways to express different meanings. Inanna’s stories were some of the first stories ever told over 5 000 years ago, however since then many stories have been introduced and mixed together. Representing stories by an ocean is no mistake on Rushdie’s part, since water is essential for life, and oceans flow and mix together in much the same way that stories do.