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Comparative Analysis, Haroun and the sea of stories and Inanna

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I will be comparing and contrasting "The decent of Inanna" which is part of the cycle of many other stories in this book which date back to around 5000 years. Wolkstein and Kramer take us back to these years when humans found different ways to communicate before language was introduced; through sound, like the repetition in Inanna which brings a musical beat into mind, body gestures, like the shadow warrior Mudra, and pictures, like the cuneiforms shown in Inanna. This book was interpreted by a folklorist who collected and recorded the tales, legends and songs of modern contemporary societies and a cuneiformist who has restored and translated the written tales, legends and songs from the Sumerians times. On the surface, Haroun and the Sea of Stories appears to be a simplistic, light-hearted novel that reads almost like a children's tale. Beneath the surface, however, something much more profound is stirring, which brings us on an adventure where stories have been passed on and interpreted to create a mythical allusion of a sea of stories as Salman Rashdie wrote. This allusion is shown on page 72. "He looked into the water and saw that it was made up of a thousand thousand thousand and one different currents, each one a different colour, weaving in and out of one another like liquid tapestry of breath taking complexity; and Iff explained that these were the streams of story, that each colored strand represented and contained a single tale. ...read more.


You're him. You're Mr. Sengupta and you stole my mother and you left the fat lady behind and you're a sniveling, driveling, mangy, stingy, measly, weaselly clerk. Where are you hiding her? Maybe she's a prisoner on this ship! Come on hand her over." ( 155) The Cultmaster personifies censorship and evil and it is inherited in his character's tone (monotone) which is ironic since his name, Khattan-Shud means "end" giving an impression that stories are ending and starting all the time during this book. He has good reason to try and put an end to stories which is that's stories have too much power, they can create many disasters and cause disruption due to the fact that one person could have mingled with a story instead of sticking to the facts. "The Cultmaster came over and peered into Haroun's face. What brought you up here eh? He asked in his dull dull voice. Stories I suppose. He said the word stories as if it were the rudest, most contemptible word in the language. What starts with stories ends with spying, and that's a serious charge, boy, no charge more serious. You'd have done better to keep your feet on the ground but you had your head in the air. You'd have done better to stick to facts, but you were stuffed with stories. You'd have done better to have stayed home, but up you came. Stories make trouble. ...read more.


This transition can even be seen in Haroun's thoughts in which gruesome "combat" turns into something as beautiful as a "dance". "And as they fought each other, standing toe to toe, Haroun began to think of their combat as a dance of great beauty and grace, a dance danced in perfect silence because the music was playing inside the dancer's heads (124)." Haroun explains this a little further, "...the dance of the Shadow Warrior showed him that silence had its own grace and beauty (just as speech could be graceless and ugly); and that Action could be as noble as Words; and that creatures of darkness could be as lovely as the children of the light (125)." Haroun connects two opposite things, such as Action and Words and connect them with "could be", indicating that he generally does not associate these actions with being "noble". Haroun is only able to make these connections due to the shadow warrior, just a couple of pages before, shadows were seen as doom, however this idea subverts itself and turns the idea into grace and beauty. In conclusion, both stories have many similarities however they are portrayed in different ways to express different meanings. Inanna's stories were some of the first stories ever told over 5 000 years ago, however since then many stories have been introduced and mixed together. Representing stories by an ocean is no mistake on Rushdie's part, since water is essential for life, and oceans flow and mix together in much the same way that stories do. ...read more.

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