The emphasis placed on the political component of Rushdie's writing, due to the intense scrutiny of his controversial ideas resulting from the protests that culminated in the issuance of the fatwa, has tended to distract attention from other, equally important elements. As Rushdie himself observed, while he regarded Midnight's Children and Shame as "in some ways quite directly political," he thought The Satanic Verses "was the least political novel I had ever written." He explained that the "engine" of the novel was "not public affairs but other kinds of more personal and political affairs." Similarly, in discussing The Moor's Last Sigh, he responded to an interviewer's suggestion that the central theme of the novel is love by agreeing: "Yes, love. The love of nation, love of parents, love of child, erotic love, romantic love."
This is something of an abstraction, but it is a revealing indication of how Rushdie approached the main themes of the book: The tangle of emotional responses to a country as a kind of home; the clash of positive and negative feelings engendered by a difficult relationship with a heterogeneous family, particularly the problems of dealing with a powerful, controlling father; the ways in which a creative imagination—here expressed through an exhibition of the myriad delights of language and the revelatory capacity of painting—can provide both insight and consolation as the loss of home leads to...
(The entire section is 1564 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of The Moor's Last Sigh Themes. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!