The theme of the artist's importance is the most important theme in Haroun and The Sea of Stories.  Discuss.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the role of the artist is an important theme in the novel.  Rushdie's construction of the narrative is one where the artist might surrender their own ability, feeling internal and external pressure around them.  Yet, Rushdie's novel indicates how the artist must see their role in a different light and persevere despite the difficult conditions around them.  Consider Rushdie's own narrative as a part of this.  Living under the fatwa and having to constantly live in hiding as a part of it, Rushdie had many opportunities to surrender his own craft and stop writing.  Yet, he does not.  He preseveres.  Rashid faces external rejection and internal doubt.  Yet, through the help of his son, he does not stop writing and seeks to reclaim a voice that society wishes to silence.  In this, a major theme of the work is evident.

I would also point out thagt another critical theme in the work is the idea that democratic inclusion is the only solution to political alienation and malignment.  Rashid and Haroun embark on their journey to help the storyteller and have to accept help from a variety of sources on their journey.  Rushdie does not construct a journey where there is exclusion, but rather inclusion of so many different avenues.  This helps to bring out another important theme that the only acceptable response to fanatcism and political isolation is inclusion and acceptance of others.  In this, I would have to enhance the original statement.