Tuesday, March 17, 2009

a We tEst

After reading Missy’s post, I began to investigate further the final analysis that she poses; “Although the idea of a cursed hair seems absurd, Rushdie uses sympathy to make Huma’s story more localized and conceivable.” In this sense as readers, we are able to find the heart of the tale, synthesize through the horror and the terror of a radical father and a criminally motivated environment, only through the protective coating of the magical elements surrounding the cursed hair. As is the similar pattern through out all of the tales within in East; in the first story we learn of the hardships of a country that confines its people, and of the overbearing expectations of tradition and womanly behavior all shielded by descriptions of a gorgeous woman and a potential love story; in the second we are faced with the devastating consequences of an ignorant youth, the harsh manipulations among their own people, and the lack of guidance or responsibilities all sugar-coated by the story of a boy who finally meets his dream as a movie star.

And then their lies the stories of the West which are classical and traditional tales highly regarded within the western society. However, they have been altered, botched and shifted. Names of characters have been abbreviated, and the actual writings are criticized. For instance, within the tale of Hamlet the narrator states, “let me say the text begins to ramble, listing in gruesome detail all the crimes committed by the price against the jester’s person: each imprint of royal boot upon his buttocks, complete with itemisations of cause, effect, location, costume, contingent circumstances…which we shall rectify here without delay” (71). This is essentially to jab at the actual absurdity within our own writings, but is also used as a tool to cut the lengthy pieces down to their heart or core “message” as well.

The techniques used within both East and West has left me to conclude that the stories within East are in fact Eastern tales being told by a Western narrator to a Western audience; which is to say that the brutality and gruesome horrors of the east need to be sugar coated for us Westerners to bear their contents and analyze them respectfully. Yet in this same respect, the stories within West are Western tales being told by an Eastern narrator to a Western audience; which is to say that the fluff that is thrown into Western tales is unnecessary in the East, they prefer the blunt truth, or “cutting-to-the-chase” tales which is why the unnecessary comical and aesthetic elements of Hamlet and the Wizard of Oz are depleted. What is interesting is that the stories, regardless of how they are told for each culture, all have a serious message of suffering, restless identities, and the flawed hopefulness of humanity. In this sense, the two separate hemispheres blend and unite in an attempt to share each others tales of grief, and feelings of solitude.

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