Department/School of the Primary Author

English, Literature, and Modern Languages


Postcolonial theory, India and Pakistan partition, Salman Rushdie, censorship


Literary scholars have often interpreted Salman Rushdie’s children’s book Haroun and the Sea of Stories as a critique of censorship, but Eva König’s postcolonial analysis provides an alternate interpretation of the book. This essay builds upon König’s work and argues that the book instead critiques the damaged relationship between India and Pakistan following the 1947 partition. König’s inclusion of Edward Said’s views of othering in her analysis strengthens her argument, but she does not account for Rushdie’s context. Contextualizing the book within the history of the partition and accounting for Rushdie’s condemnation of it allows scholars to compare the fictionalized countries of Gup and Chup to India and Pakistan. Rushdie’s critique of othering connects to the hostilities between India and Pakistan as the book argues for reconciliation between divided countries.

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