Write an essay of 2000 words taking the following

Title: Write an essay of 2000 words taking the undermentioned citation as your subject in relation to Salman Rushdie’s two texts,ShameandThe Jaguar ‘s Smile. “ Humiliate people for long plenty and a wilderness bursts out of them ” Salman Rushdie,Shame.

Shalimar the Clown, of the eponymic novel, saps on the high wire for the battalions. The name, one time full with guiltless laughter takes on a sinister coloring when Shalimar, cuckolded by his beautiful married woman, becomes the incarnation of cut pride. His anticing calling is another mode of underscoring his humiliation. Before Shalimar becomes involved in Guerialla warfare, before he murders his married woman and her lover, Shalimar’s anticing alterations: “as dramatically physical a comic as of all time, but at that place was a new fierceness about him that could easy scare people every bit good as doing them laugh” ( STC 231 ) . So, as Booker notes “the really thought of a stable incorporate ego is revealed by Rushdie to be a fiction” . [ 1 ] This motive of repression, and its effect: an eruption of wild emotions and behavior, is traced throughout bothShameandThe Jaguar’s Smile.Rushdie describes two really different civilizations and two really different sets of people untethering a nature that has been modelled by the repression that they suffer. One describes a dramatis personae of characters amplified by all the resources of Rushdie’s charming pragmatism, the other, an full and a existent people, known merely as a generic population, united by a battle.

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Shameis a rubric without ruse. Its simpleness describes absolutely Rushdie’s capable – the shame of a state that has struggled into being, for whilst he does non name his land Pakistan, he leaves an unmistakable breadcrumb trail for his readers.

Shame and humiliation are rather different things inShame.When Omar foremost leaves the capacious sign of the zodiac of his young person, he receives the ultimate abuse: a necklace of old places is thrown at his invulnerable pharynx. In a Muslim land, where uncleanliness is something out, the twine of dirty places is a humiliation non to be borne. But for the twelve-year old Omar, shame is a out emotion. And his mothers’ prohibition is a more rigorous one than his God’s:

Sharam,that’s the word. For which this paltry ‘shame’ is a entirely unequal interlingual rendition … It was non merely dishonor that his female parents forbade Omar Khayyam to experience, but besides embarrassment, discomposure, decency, modestness, shyness, the sense of holding an appointed topographic point in the universe, and other idioms of emotion for which English has no opposite numbers … What’s left whensharamis subtracted? That’s obvious: brazenness. ( S 39 ) .

The necklace does non set down on him, but on the spiritual overzealous Ibadalla, the dirty places sully the deity of hisgatta ;the zealot’s contusion. It is important that the symbol of shame can set down upon the shoulders of a holy mailman, spurned in love, but misses wholly its intended victim. Omar can non have this manifestation, this label of a shame that he merely does non experience.

When Omar leaves Q. he is garlanded, as is traditional, with flowers, which “gave off an olfactory property which rather obliterated the memory malodor of the necklace of shoes” ( S 54 ) . Though he has been taught brazenness by his female parents, the construct is needfully twinned with shame: the Garland of places missed his cervix but caught his imaginativeness. Though incapable of experiencing humiliation Omar is non rather unblushing ; surely he is non insensible to the feeling. After destroying Farah by ravishing her whilst she was under his hypnotist’s enchantment, Omar achieves a sort of mutilated epiphany: “it has made me understand my female parents at last. This must be what they locked themselves up to avoid … Vomiting out the thin xanthous fluid of his shame” ( S 53 ) .

So Omar’s childhood, screened by sign of the zodiac walls, reveals itself a merchandise his mothers’ black wickedness. Omar’s dictated shamelessness allows him to exhibit his ‘true’ nature: to acquire rummy, to see prostitutes: to populate in rebelliousness of his countrymen’s moral codification. This rebelliousness of civilized behavior and recognized mores is Omar’s ain wilderness, though a commonplace and, Rushdie implies, platitude one.

The novel’s heroine exhibits a different type of wilderness. Of Sufiya it is said “the babe blushed at birth” ( S 90 ) . As a newborn babe Sufiya’s humiliation is double ; the shame of being a girl and the shame of her father’s impotent probing, his despairing hunt for male genital organ on the organic structure of his new kid. So, as a babe, it is Sufiya’s organic structure that is a beginning of shame to her ; this shame is augmented by the ‘slowness’ with which her brain-fever scars her. Our storyteller suspects that Sufiya’s encephalon febrility makes her “preternaturally receptive to all kinds of things that float about in the quintessence enabled her to absorb, like a sponge, a host of unfelt feelings” ( S 122 ) . Referred to as her mother’s shame, Sufiya absorbs the shame of her muliebrity and her amentia.

Inordinately receptive, Sufiya is surfeited with the shame of her milleu. For, the shame, the humiliation incurred by the shameless characters, such as Omar, is non dissipated, instead, it is deflected. Rushdie’s storyteller instructs us to conceive of shame as a vending-machine drink:

Out flows the bubbling emotion and you drink your fill … but how many human existences garbage to follow these simple instructions! … what happens to all that unfelt dishonor? What of the unquaffed cups of dad? Think once more of the peddling machine. The button is pushed ; but so in comes the unblushing manus and jerks off the cup! The button-pusher does non imbibe what was ordered ; and the fluid of shame spills, distributing in a bubbling lake across the floor” ( S 122 ) .

Sufiya is stained by her sex before she is capable of understanding its deductions. In this fiction the distinctness of muliebrity is non a marginalised shame, alternatively it is foregrounded throughout. Bilquis’s bare shame pre-dates her daughter’s birth. Her apparels blown off by the detonation that killed her male parent, Bilquis is exposed to her hubby on their first meeting. The shame engendered by the nature of such an brush seeps through the old ages of their matrimony to go forth its discoloration upon their first girl, for Bilquis does non imbibe her cup of shame, alternatively she boasts to Good Newss: “he saw me lying at that place with all my goods on show in the window, you know, and I suppose the bold chap merely liked what there was to see” ( S 65 ) .

This filial heritage is hinted at by Raza’s force, which foreshadows that of his girl. When Raza emerges like a famous person from his train drive, presuming that the assembled crowd are waiting for his reaching, he is swept over by the fans who wait non for him but for an actress who shared his train. Raza, antecedently held aloft as the lone hubby who did non crush his married woman, degenerates into type: “in the unlogical mode of the broken, he began taking it out on his wife” ( S 92 ) . So one time more, Sufiya must absorb the humiliation that her male parent chooses to redistribute as blows.

Sufiya, in her retarded mental province, can experience the humiliation of a mass, but she can non absorb it. The weight of vicarious shame unleashes a actual animal within her. By the terminal of the novel the beautiful Sufiya, who married the beastly Omar, descends literally to the meanness that her hubby betrays but metaphorically. Sufiya’s catalogue of offenses are the actions of a animal non of civilization, but of wilderness. When she attacks her brother-in-law it is with her dentitions, like an animate being. When she launches herself at her philandering hubby she is covered with clay and blood: genuinely a animal from the wilderness, or a animal whose wilderness has broken free. In the words of Deszcz, “Sufiya ‘s harsh animal nature is really her freedom” . [ 2 ]

The impression of Sufiya being a individual whom the wilderness breaks out of is suggested by Rushdie himself. Many have remarked upon the beauty and the beast couplings of Sufiya and Omar, and of the dichotomy of Sufiya: for she is both beauty and animal: a beautiful who adult female, who, like the Sirens, will entice work forces to their deceases. Booker compares her to Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Dr Jekyll was, of class the paradigm of benevolent good ; it was his tragic flaw to hold the disposition and means to turn himself into Hyde: pervert animal. Rushdie plays with this intertextuality, as Booker notes, the phonic analogue between the names Shakill and Hyder is, “quite obvious” . [ 3 ] Rushdie inverts the both narratives, for it is as Sufiya Shakill that his heroine becomes monstrous ; exactly when her name and married province ought to guarantee the same type of civilized fulfillment that it does to other characters in other narratives.

This exposure of an interior wilderness is typical: “The sorts of human-beast transmutations undergone by Sufiya Zenobia Hyder represent a front-runner Rushdie motif” . [ 4 ] Rushdie is composing about a state that binds itself with multi-fold repression and such repression, such accrued humiliation must happen some signifier of release. Inevitably, it is a violent one.

Rushdie links Pakistan’s Muslim sense of shame,Sharam,with Nicaragua’s political shame, its battle to retain ( or even achieve ) liberty. He begins by stating us that the country’s “history had been a uninterrupted rite of blood” ( J 9 ) . The state is scarred by its history: emotionally, and literally for Rushdie is careful to observe the bullet-pocked edifices and the pierced marks. He lets the symbol base unelucidated, though the resonance is powerful: in this state the route marks, the very declarations of self-ownership, have been violated by the force of the battle.

Rushdie’s pick of rubric excessively, is instantly demilitarizing: a absurd phrase, one which communicates merely the purpose of a deliberate fraudulence, for Jaguars can non smile: the lone animals capable of smiling are apes, and their relations, worlds. The book’s quip, taken from one of Nicaragua’s apparently omnipresent poets, serves to underline this sense of bewilderment that begins his text:

There was a immature miss of Nic’ragua

Who smiled as she rode on a panther.

They returned from the drive

With the immature miss inside

And the smiling on the face of the panther.

The inexorably cheerful rhyme strategy, like the jaguar’s smiling, works to foster our sense of malaise, doing amusing the girl’s decease. The insistent beat someway proposing an inevitableness and a pettiness that enfold the fabricated miss. So before we even embark upon the organic structure of the text, the reader is, in a manner, humiliated: we are mocked by the blithe intervention of decease, by the cryptic phrase: ‘the jaguar’s smile’ . Rushdie calls it “infuriating … like a jangle that refused to be forgotten” ( J 129 ) . This de-familiarisation, this distance between the capable affair and its presentation forms a fitting reverberation of the book’s content ; the battle of Nicaragua that seems to withstand Western logic – so that merely the trans-continental Rushdie is able to present the narrative. Even he can non understand: is the miss the revolution and the panther geopolitics, or is the miss Nicaragua “and the panther was the revolution? Eh? What about that? ” ( J 129 ) .

The pride and the shame of the Nicaraguans is given a more generous representation, portrayed as legitimate. Rushdie notes the cowed being of an full state:

There was frequently a small, defensive something that would crawl into the discourse of the Nicaraguan leaders. ‘No state is put under the microscope the manner we are, ’ Foreign Minister d’Escoto would state me. That sense being watched, all the clip, for the tiniest faux pas, made them jumpy. ( J 16 ) .

This sense of being watched, the demand to carry on oneself consequently, possibly filters into their art: in Nicaragua, we learn, authors are given diluted Ezra Pound and told to emulate him. Yet Rushdie insists, “I did non of all time think I had seen a people, even in India and Pakistan where poets were revered, who valued poesy every bit much as the Nicaraguans” ( J 27 ) . It is pertinent to mention Rushdie’s remark in “Imaginary Homelands” : “the imaginativeness works best when it is most free” . [ 5 ] Here Rushdie was reflecting upon the rational and originative freedom of a author removed from his topic, but the remark has resonance here: the poet’s voice is stifled by a national battle, by the nationalization of literature that the leaders are so proud of. Despite the nationally advised programme of literature, censoring is non a portion of Nicaraguan’s state-run publishing houses. Poetry seems to be a basically of import art signifier to Nicaragua. Possibly the prevalence of poesy is because, uncensored, and apparently written by all, it is an classless signifier of art that allows the Nicaraguans a voice that is proud, and non steeped in shame.

Rushdie’s message, if it can be called such, is a preventive 1. The people of Nicaragua are non the humiliated and vindictive characters ofShame; alternatively they are oppressed, hapless and fervent. Their nationalism and enthusiasm has non yet been crushed, but Rushdie implies that no state can continually digest such breaches of its pride. Dayal’s remark upon the subject ofShameis a utile account of Rushdie’s intents in composing about Nicaragua: that something ugly will originate “unless that eruption is someway prevented by conveying it to the visible radiation of consciousness” . [ 6 ] He records infinite episodes that demonstrate this precipice, he describes Ortega’s entreaty to The International Court, Nicaragua protecting itself from the US as “David against Goliath … The mouse roared” ( J 130 ) . This description of a mouse encapsulates absolutely the Nicaraguan sense of shame, enforced by the actions of other states. Rushdie remains optimistic: “It was wholly possible that Nicaragua’s will to last might turn out stronger than the American weapons” ( J 135 ) .

Humiliation is a powerful affectional force ; it is non originative but destructive. Rushdie’s works explore this construct and agree that shamed is a unsafe province in which to enslave people: a “wilderness” will certainly interrupt through the eggshell-thin bed of civilization that teaches us to crimson.


Primary Beginnings

Rushdie, Salman,The Jaguar’s Smile,London: Vintage, 2000.

Rushdie, Salman,Shalimar the Clown,London: Jonathan Cape, 2005.

Rushdie, Salman,ShameLondon: Vintage, 1995.

Rushdie, Salman,Fanciful Fatherlands: Essaies and Criticism,London: Granda, 1991.

Secondary Beginnings

Booker, M. Richard. “Beauty and the Beast: Dualism and Despotism in the fiction of Salman Rushdie” ,ELHVol. 57 No. 4 ( Winter 1990 ) p.977-997

Dayal, Samir. “The Liminalities of Nation and Gender: Salman Rushdie’sShame” ,Thediary of Mid-West Modern Language AssociationVol. 31 No.2 ( Winter 1998 ) p 39-62

Deszcz, Justyna. “Salman Rushdie ‘s effort at a feminist fairytale reconfiguration in Shame” ,FolkloreVol. 115 No.1 ( Apr 2004 ) p.27-44.

Pichova , Hana,The Art of Memory in Exile,Carbondale & A ; Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 2002.

Ed. Patricia Waugh and Philip Rice,Modern Literary Theory, Fourth Edition,London: Arnold, 2001.


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