The Representation of Orientalism in Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories


The Representation of Orientalism in Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories; Dewi Hariani, 100110101052; 2016: 42 pages; English Department, Faculty of Humanities, Jember University.

The research analyzes some issues related to the representation of orientalism. It is portrayed in Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and theSea of Stories represented by some various characters and settings. This is an interesting novel to be analyzed because Rushdie as the eastern people represents the East based on the western thoughts.

Haroun and the Sea of Stories is an allegory for several problems existing in society today, especially in the Indian subcontinent. The names of the characters as well as the settings are obviously Indian; some of the names are explained in a glossary appended to the book. The story begins and takes place partly in “a sad city”, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad it had forgotten its name”, which is located beside “a mournful sea full of glumfish, which were so miserable to eat that they made people belch with melancholy”. The city is thickly populated by people. The factories produce air pollution that is only relieved during the monsoon, which also heralds the arrival of pomfret into the nearby waters.

This research is qualitative research. This research is divided into two kinds of data, primary data and secondary data. The primary data are taken from Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories. The data in this thesis are in forms of the selected dialogues and narrative structure about East stereotyping. I also use journals, theses, articles, other books and websites as the secondary data in this research. In this article there are two goals of the study. The first goal is to answer how orientalism discourse is constructed in the novel. The second is to expose the writer’s critical position. This research uses Said’s theory of Orientalism.

After the research, it can be concluded that Salman Rushdie represents the orientalism in his work. Those constructions are the result of his study and an experience living in England. Rushdie has been influenced by the Western thoughts. In this point of reference, it can be seen that the Western reading books have an impact to Rusdie’s work and his the West looking at the East is constructed on Rushdie’s mind. Rushdie with the idea of orientalising the East through his work without any awareness. So, the empirical experience of the author brings evidence that the Western hegemony through the texts is successful.

He makes his literary work to criticise the Eastern government. Haroun and the Sea of Stories ends with happy ending. In another hand, the pitiful condition of his people is not end. The people are still poor, the sadness factories are still production (Rushdie, 1990; 207-208). This is very clear in the section of the novel where Haroun wishes for the sun to shine equally on both sides of Kahani, or as McDannald states, the light of reason must shine “on both sides of the dilemma. Similarly, it seems Rushdie ultimately wishes for both sides of the censorship crisis to view each other with equal lighting, to abandon the differences between them and cease the destructive bickering, murder, terrorism and other human rights violations.” (McDannal, 2001: 12).