After reading chapters 5-8, my impressions have changed quite a bit. I really didn’t like the first four chapters, as I thought they were a bit uninteresting and weird, and it read really slow. I have read a lot of books that use that same format, having a normal kid venture into a brand new world, and I really don’t think that they beginning part when he is still in the normal world was very well written, especially for a book that was meant for kids. As soon as Haroun got to Kahani, I thought that it got a lot more interesting and made it seem a lot more like a children’s book. The style of writing seemed whimsical, and I really started to get into the book.
I am also finding a lot more allusions in the book, and they are starting to come a lot easier now. For example, when Haroun is introduced to the army of the Gups, called the library, it reminded me a lot of Alice in Wonderland, because the Queen in that book had an army of cards, and in Haroun, there was an army of books. On page 88, Rushdie says, “ ‘Those,’ Iff told him, ‘are the famous Pages of Gup; that is to say, the army. Ordinary armies are made up of platoons and regiments and suchlike; our pages are organized into chapters and volumes. Each volume is headed by a Front, or Title, Page; and up there is the leader of the entire “Library”, which is our name for the Army–General Kitab himself.’” I really liked how they explained and went through this, and this new organization of the army makes it seem more child-like and less scary than an actual army going to war. It sort of lightens the mood when they talk about invading another country to get a kidnapped Princess back.
Allusion is a really fun lens to look at this book through, as there is such an immense amount of allusions everywhere you look. I really think the way that Rushdie decided to write it with all of the references is very cool, because if you are older and more experienced with popular texts, you will be able to understand and see more of the allusions, which makes the book more entertaining to read than the average children’s book.
I have also been thinking about the original questions that we were asked back in the beginning of the year, “Are all fictional stories morally good lies?”. I think that after thinking about this for a little over a month, I’m starting to draw some conclusions. I believe that yes, all fictional stories are morally good lies. Stories to me have never really been posed as good lies until this year. It doesn’t sound right to me, as I love fictional stories and think they are really important, especially for children, but I do have to admit that it is accurate. As I continue to read and discuss the book, I am sure new things will come to light, so stay tuned on that front.
As of last Wednesday’s discussion, I think that it went pretty well. I was able to talk more about the lens of allusion with my peers and experienced what others had found while they were reading through the different lenses. While talking about my lens with my peers, I came up with some new insights. We talked about how the book is able to come up with an entirely new story line while utilizing so many ideas and parts of other popular books. I think that the way Rushdie did that was really neat, and it added a lot to the story by molding many stories into one, taking the best from each story.
This link is to a document that I think illustrates many good points and examples of allusion. I used it when I was researching earlier in the unit, as I wanted to see what main pieces of literature Rushdie used to write the book.