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Haroun and the Sea of Stories

            The famous Carlos Santana, a Mexican-American musician interested in rock and Latin American music, once said that, "Just as we have two eyes and two feet, duality is a part of life." Santana knew that you could not have bad without good, and the balance between the two is very important for the survival of mankind in a somewhat utopian state. Balance between two things is more important than having too much of a good or a bad thing, because either can bring out the worst in people, things they do not even realize they are doing. In the novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories, by Salman Rushdie, the author uses the characterization of the inhabitants of Kahani and Haroun's experiences there to show that the freedom of speech and power of silence must be balanced in order for Kahani and the rest of the world to function in a healthy balanced way. Without this order, there would be chaos and anarchy; and Haroun's experiences proves that this is a necessary facet.
             Haroun, the main character of the novel, learns that there is a great divide between the two main groups on the moon, the Guppees and the Chupwalas, just as there is a great divide between the right to freedom of speech, and controlling that with silence. Haroun discovers Khattam-Shud the evil oppressor of Chup, the dark side of the moon whom, "[is] the grand Panjadrum himself [who] does exactly what he forbids everyone else to do. His followers sew up their lips and he talks and talks" (Rushdie 154). While there are two sides to the moon, the side Khattam-Shud rules is the side of complete and utter darkness, and he forces those under him to take vows of silence to the extreme, sewing their lips up to insure that they will never speak again. This is like how the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Salman Rushdie for expressing his opinions in his books, and the Muslim people being forced to go along with whatever he decrees.

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