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Chapter Summaries

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Contributing Authors


Haroun and the Sea of Stories - Chapter 10
by Brian Rock & Ian Gallagher


Our heroes, Haroun and Iff, are being led down into the dark ship by Khattam-Shud's guards. Khattam began to explain the machinery in the ship, and Haroun was trying to stay interested but could only pay attention for 11 minutes. He explained that "for every story there is an anti-story…has a shadow self" which they manufactured to destroy the sea of stories. Khattam then explains that he cannot rule the story worlds, so he destroys them. He then shows Haroun the plug, which he will use to block the source of the sea of stories. As Khattam is explaining his devious scheme, Haroun notices that Mali has escaped his capture. Mali attempts to destroy the generator on board the ship by entangling himself in it. Using this as a distraction, Haroun uses his Bite-a-Lite. He grabs Butt's brain from the cultmaster and slips on a poison-protecting diving suit. He notices that none of the Chupwalas had shadows, and that Khattam had forced all his followers to detach themselves from their human counterparts. When in the water Haroun realizes that if he could shine sunlight on the ship then it would be destroyed. While swimming through the Sea of Stories, Haroun notices the giant plug, and finds Butt the Hoopoe. He desperately tries to reattach Butt's brain, and is successful after three tries. He then drank the wish water, and focused intently on his wish: for the moon to rotate so that the sun will shine directly down on the ship as if it were high-noon. After eleven minutes Haroun was still concentrating on his wish when it came true. The ship began to deteriorate, and the edges of the ship began to melt, and they returned back into ordinary shadows. Haroun went racing back to save Iff and Mali, who were suspended in the air hanging by ropes. All of the poison in the cauldrons had been dried up by the sun. Butt blew a fuse while they were escaping, so the group took turns pushing him back to Gup city. At that moment the ship collapsed and the plug fell to the ocean floor harmlessly.


Khattam is explaining his plan to destroy the Sea of Stories, and he brings up the idea of an anti-story. This brings up the motif of balance: there are two opposing sides to every story. Rushdie is commenting on the freedom of speech, saying that he is free to make a counterpoint to every opinion. This will create a medium, so long as there is no oppression to either side.

Khattam's plug that he uses symbolizes the oppression of the freedom of speech, as reflected in Rushdie's life. Also, the protective suit that Haroun wears symbolizes the protection from the censor's (or his own) "poisons".

Mali's poem can be seen as Rushdie's view on his social oppression. He says that nothing can stop him from expressing himself. This has also been interpreted as being a biblical verse, showing that Mali is the "savior".

You can chop a flower-bush
You can chop a tree
You can chop liver but
You can't chop me
You can chop and change
You can chop in ka-ra-tee
You can chop suey, but
You can't chop me.

Haroun realizes that everyone on Khattam's ship are shadows that had separated themselves from their human part. Rushdie is making a statement that the author must be separated from his work, and that the views of the work do not necessarily reflect the views of the person. This is shown where shadows, which usually parallel the human, had become separate from the human that usually dictates its movements.

One of the reasons Rushdie wrote "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" is to explain his writer's block. When Butt the Hoopoe's brain is taken out of his body, the Chupwalas attempt to analyze the way it works. This explains Rushdie's views of his critics analyzing himself (or his brain) rather than his works.

The sun comes out and destroys the ship along with the poisons and the plug, which is like the end of Rushdie's writer's block disability. Also, Haroun is able to concentrate for more than eleven minutes. This plainly shows that Rushdie's BACK!!

© Smelli Notes 2001