Storytelling and Water Genie

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Haroun and the sea of stories written by Salman Rushdie depicts the vital importance of storytelling through the adventures of a storyteller’s son, called Haroun. Haroun is on a quest to recover his fathers, rashind, renowned ability to weave a web of stories. Throughout his journey he comes across friends and foes who act in duality propelling him forward to a pleasing fairy-tale ending. The passage on page 71-72 is an exchange between Iff the water genie and Haroun about the ocean of the streams of stories. I intend in the close reading of this extract to analyse the ways the text, Iff the water genie and how this passage aids in the narrative as a totality. This specific passage helps in developing our understanding of the story, by us the reader becoming aware of what a story actually is in accordance to Rushdie’s views. This is crucial due to the fact that this novel centres on the power of story. A story is not a narrow, unbending thing ‘it was not dead but alive’. They are derivative, taking on new notions from other tales ‘stories were held in fluid form they retained the ability to change’ Haroun notes. This studied passage is a direct narrative of what a story is which works with the larger narrative in relation to the prominent concept shrouded over the tale: the immense beauty, power and fun of a good yarn. This is again evident when we see the powerful effect of a story when Haroun whose ‘a young fellow whose feeling blue’ sips a pure stream of story ‘so that the magic of the story can restore his sprits’, as testified by the water genie. They have the ability to take us from a sometimes darkly harsh reality to a beautiful colourful fiction and this is what Iff the water genie does for Haroun the storyteller’s son and subsequently Rushdie does for his readers.
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