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How does the concept of belonging relate to The Satanic Verses?

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humzafaridy | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 2, 2011 at 5:29 PM via web

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How does the concept of belonging relate to The Satanic Verses?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 2, 2011 at 6:47 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that the most elemental notions of belonging can be seen in Saladin Chamcha and Gibreel Farishta. The idea of Farishta seeking belonging makes sense because "the angel" seeks to be included.  His desire to board the plane in the first place to be with Allie is representative of this belonging.  He seeks acceptance and recognizes that his own condition in India is one where he does not feel this level of belonging or acceptance.  In the same light, Saladin seeks to find belonging in a non- Indian context.  With his own dislike of India in his system, he seeks acceptance and covets belonging in the English society.  Yet, he begins to understand what it means to be alienated and marginalized when he becomes a victim to this very society.  His understanding of belonging becomes forged with other immigrants, other individuals marginalized by the racist English social order.  In this, Rushdie is pointing out that belonging in a social context in which individuals seek belonging and forging connections with other individuals who are in similar predicaments.

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