Salman Rushdie's "The Courter." is an example of a story that uses popular culture references to address the events and the feelings of characters of a particular time. In "The Courter" Rushdie uses references of culture from the early 1960's, such as pop-songs, television shows, and movies, that help readers understand and relate to the characters of his story. These references are also of a historical orientation and help direct the time frame of the story. The style that Rushdie uses for each reference help give "The Courter" its own individuality and clarify the true essence of the time.
Of all the references in "The Courter" most of them have to do with music. Music is used to show and amplify the feelings of the characters whether it is a mention of an artist's name or the lyrics of an unforgettable song, Rushdie uses this as his main form of expression. To express the changes in his teenage body and his hormonal mindset towards teenage girls he uses love songs like, "Sherry" by the Four Seasons, and "It's Over" by Roy Orbison. He used music to express his loneliness and issues that related to the state that his family was in. "On the radio, people were always singing about the joys of being sixteen years old.....They certainly weren't in my neighborhood. London, W8 was Sam Cooke country that summer." Rushdie also makes reference to the artists that help express characters, and events that take place. "Outside Waverly House they were approached by two well-turned-out young men with Beatle haircuts and the buttoned-up, collarless jackets made popular by the band." The reference to the "Beatles" is to show that sometime you get what you least expected when encountering people. These "mobsters" prove to be more dangerous compared to the "Stones" who are less violent then they are portrayed. In connection with reference, in the sixties the "Stones" were considered the more dangerous ones.... [continues]
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