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Salmon Rushdie Essay Research Paper In a

Salmon Rushdie Essay, Research Paper In a world that is ready to criticize the slightest fault, or impropriety of a person’s character, or way of thinking,

Salmon Rushdie Essay, Research Paper

In a world that is ready to criticize the slightest fault, or

impropriety of a person’s character, or way of thinking,

authors, such as Salmon Rushdie, are continually under fire. In his

writings, Rushdie takes the aspects of typical every day life and

satirizes them in a way that enables his readers to realize how

nonsensical they may be. Through centuries of diverse writing and

literary changes, one thing remains the same: writers, no matter who

they are, or what their standing in society is, will be criticized.

Salmon Rushdie, although a modern writer, is faced with much criticism

that earlier writers also faced.

In June of 1947, in Bombay, India, a child was born. A child

who would grow up to become one of the most outspoken and

radical writers of this modern era. Born in a time of political unrest

(DISCovering), and a newly found freedom for India from British rule,

Rushdie would grow not to find freedom through his writings, but a deep

rooted criticism. Educated at The Cathedral Boys’ School, and then

Cambridge, Rushdie had a refined learning experience. When Rushdie

started his career in writing he was unable to support himself and

therefore held jobs such as acting and copyrighting until he was able

to himself support as a writer.

Rushdie’s first published book, Grimus, tells the story of an

American Indian who receives the gift of immortality and begins

an odessy to find the meaning of life. Initially this work attracted

the attention of the science fiction readers(DISCovering). The books

genre is very often disagreed upon by critics, and has been called a

fable, fantasy, political satire, and magical realism(DISCovering).

Being “an ambitious, strikingly confident first work(DISCovering),”

Rushdie was able to establish himself in the literary world as a

writer. In his second book, Rushdie turned back to his homeland to

find the subject that he wished to write about. Midnight’s Children

chronicles the recent history of India, beginning in 1947 when the

country became free from British rule(DISCovering). In this allegorical

work, Rushdie uses the characters to represent hopes as well as the

frustrating realities of India’s newly found freedom. Shame is

Rushdie’s third book. In this work he presents an astonishing account

of events in an unnamed country that strongly resembles Pakistan. The

major theme in this work is shame verses honor. The Satanic Verses is

probably Rushdie’s most popular and most controversial work. In this

ambiguous work, Rushdie explores the themes relating to good and evil,

religious faith and fanaticism, illusion verses reality, and the plight

of Indians who have relocated to Great Britain. Through extended dream

sequences, Rushdie is able to blur the distinction between reality and

imagination (DISCovering).

“What Salmon Rushdie stands for, is the right to secularism,

pluralism, freedom of expression, tolerance–values that I hope

we are all united in supporting (Sontag) .”

In every work of Rushdie’s, there is meaning. He does not write

frivolously, but instead examines different afflictions that plague

today’s society. Grimus had received both positive and negative

criticism, but was established as a great literary work and a

beneficial start to his writing career. Midnight’s Children received

the 1981 Booker Bridge Award, which had placed Rushdie into the elite

of India’s writing circle (Gunton 364). However, as one critic said,

“Midnight’s Children is a brilliant piece of writing, But for a novel

it lacks direction and a point of focus (Gunton 367).” Rushdie’s third

novel, Shame, was highly acclaimed, and was said, “to have done for

Pakistan, what Midnight’s Children had done for India,” which was to

show that the shameless culture of Pakistan was inflicting on the

personalities of individuals (DISCovering). Rushdie’s most criticized

and controversial work, The Satanic Verses, received the Whitbread

prize in 1988, However, this award did not come without a cost. When

Rushdie published this work, he sent the Muslim religious leaders, as

well as Islamic scholars, into an uproar to the extent where a death

order was placed on Rushdie. Some Muslims claim that Rushdie violated

taboos by making irreverent references to people, places, and objects

sacred to Islam (DISCovering). “Whatever his accomplishments as a

novelist, Rushdie is completely at home in the genre of news feature

and editorial, and they are arguably the most confident and crafted

side of his work (MIT).”

If any of Rushdie’s works should be included in an eleventh

grade syllabus it should be The Satanic Verses. Although this

work can be criticized as disrespectful and degrading to the Islamic

community, it is purely a remarkable example of freedom of expression.

In a society that tends to restrict young adults, and the expression of

young vigorous minds, it is important to demonstrate assertive literary

works. Rushdie also shows character and strength in the struggle that

he has gone through because of the people who opposed his work. This

element of Rushdie is very significant because it shows what courage is

all about, and how important it is to remain faithful to your own

personal beliefs. Besides the benefit of personal growth, eleventh

graders would also be reading an award winning literary work that is

rather unique in form and nature. And with Rushdie being a modern

writer, who is still living, it may be easier to understand where

Rushdie draws his ideas, and why he does so. The Satanic Verses is not

his only award winning book, or the only book of Rushdie’s that is

unique and eloquent in form, However, it is the most expressionate in

personal beliefs, something that in today’s English classes is

lacking. Going into the twenty-first century, the youth of today need

to express themselves to be great leaders of tomorrow. The Satanic

Verses is a good example of how one man expressed himself, an example

that should be followed.

Salmon Rushdie is not only a remarkable writer but also a

remarkable man. In his works and in his life he “refuses to be

terrorized (MIT).” Rushdie writes for the pure enjoyment of writing.

He is aware that not everyone will appreciate his works, but should

this prevent him from doing what he loves? Rushdie has set a good

example to follow. Each and every person should be able to say, ” I am

not scared of you (MIT),” as Rushdie has done. Because if that can not

be done, then terrorism will continue to plague society. “The purpose

of terrorism is to terrorize. The only defense against terrorism is to

refuse to be terrorized (MIT).”

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