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What special vocabulary is used in The Satanic Verses?

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ccnbill | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 26, 2012 at 6:36 AM via web

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What special vocabulary is used in The Satanic Verses?

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

Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM (Answer #1)

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I tend to think that with like so much of Rushdie's work there is a fundamental vocabulary challenge presented with thematic ideas.  This means that Rushdie does not present any new words, per se, as much as words tinted with new ideas.  For example, the vocabulary of transformation is of vital importance in The Satanic Verses.  Rushdie takes concepts that would be traditionally seen as static, such as spiritual identity or national affiliation, and moves them into a realm of being dynamic.  For instance, the opening scene of Gibreel and Saladin is one of constant transformation, though the context is one where death and finality are normally associated.  Rusdie's vocabulary to describe Ayesha and the Prophet is one that represents fluidity and a sense of change, as opposed to a sense of static.  This takes a level of complexity to embrace because it seeks to transform that which is normally seen as fixed as complex and intertwined.  Rushdie wishes to do this from a political point of view.  He understands that it benefits those in the position of power to see and view reality as fixed and permanent.  It is a direct challenge to power to introduce vocabulary that embraces temporality and mutability in the face of supposed absolutism.  Whether it is religious or political leaders, Rushdie's vocabulary in the work seeks to challenge ideas in making them more fluid and complex, less defined and rigid.  It is here where his work and the vocabulary associated with it becomes complex and intricate.

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