I was pleased with how Haroun ended, but it also left a few things hanging. All the major plot points were touched on and tied up, but there were a few little details I wish there was a sentence or two on. Overall, though, I really liked the book.
My peers and I did our presentations on the four different lenses our groups were looking through. The link to my group’s Prezi on Allegories is under my Portfolio section (I’m still teaching myself how to use this site so excuse the cumbersome formatting). Looking back at the story now with those lenses under my belt, I can most clearly see the satire and characterization for some of Rushdie’s most memorable characters, specifically Prince Bolo and Princess Batcheat. This blog, done by a classmate, really highlights this and is all about the kind of revelation I see, as well as some intriguing points about the beginning of the story.
I think my favorite annotation I made in this book is when Iff the Water Genie says, “You know how people are, new things, always new. The old tales, nobody cares” (Rushdie 86). I actually made this post-it note after my English teacher mentioned the hidden meaning to my group. The more I looked into it, the more allegories I found.
The old stories represent the origin stories of societies. If they are forgotten, society can spiral into something no one intended. I can assume the Chups and the Gups were once united, but something happened to make the Story Moon stop spinning, separating the two. Also, the Chups decided to follow the Cultmaster Khattam-Shud, who further corrupted the Chupwala society. The Old Stories were forgotten and left to rot, causing all the problems on Kahani.
Our discussion today mostly focused on the idea that “fictional stories are morally good lies,” and the word ‘deception’ seemed to come up a lot. Stories deceive us by making us feel empathy for and get attached to characters and places we have never seen. We decided stories are like white lies – the author knows that they are false, but they tell them for the benefit of the reader, to entertain us and leave their ideas in our mind. It’s positive deception and we eat it up.
Haroun may not be my new favorite book, but I am glad I own it. I think every author or writer should read it – not because it’s a ‘role model for all books’ or anything, but because I love the notion that all the stories and plot lines I come up with in my head are remixes of all those stories on Kahani. Somewhere on that Story Moon, a Plentimaw Fish is blending together Hero Princess stories and Pirate stories and a bunch of other stories to be combined into mine. In fact, all of us writers must have a subscription to the Story Water!