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