Haroun’s Heroic Feat
A tale of adventure can pertain to an individual’s journey, whether it is a story in which the character physically journeys from one place to another, or a story encompassing a journey within the character. Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and The Sea of Stories takes readers on a journey of their own as they experience the enchanting tale of a young boy, Haroun, and his heroic journey from one realm to another. In a way, this story amounts to the structure of the standard hero’s journey, however revising the structured way the series of events unfolds. Characteristic of a hero’s myth, Haroun is an ordinary young boy at the beginning of the novel. His father tells stories, yet never comes forth with a legitimate explanation of their creation. As it turns out, the stories that Haroun’s father has told are in fact magically gathered from a different world than is known to ordinary man. Haroun encounters the magical water genie that provides his father with his flow of stories. This water genie notes the beginning of a profound journey between different worlds and environments, working to spark realizations and character evolvement. The mystical world created by Rushdie envelops the reader as the context lays out incredible imagery—immense enough to pull one into its story like a harsh tide could pull back into the sea.
A mythic hero journey typically begins with an ordinary character, called to adventure for one reason or another. In Rushdie’s work, Haroun embodies this heroic character, when he realizes he is at fault for his father’s inability to continue with story telling. When he encounters the water genie, the genie becomes his mentor in a sense—bringing him from the ordinary world to his magical world of stories, where Haroun will be able to save his father’s stories. The reader becomes increasingly aware of Haroun’s motive and drive when he drinks a certain wishwater and sees his father’s face in his mind: “just do this one thing for me,...
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