Wednesday, March 20, 2013

All Mixed-Up

Yet again Rushdie shows off by furtively choosing the name ‘Mixed-Up’ and depicting a theme of India.  This central question is addressed in the opening paragraph of The Courter, he states, “Word from a schoolboy atlas long ago, when India felt as far away as Paradise. (Nowadays Paradise seemed even further away but India, and Hell, had come a good bit closer.)” (175).  So what exactly is the schoolboy, or a childish/immature/innocent inner-Rushdie saying?  He might mean that India has gotten worse and the image of a paradise is a lost prospect, he could be saying India is a living hell, or the quote could be drawing on homesickness and comparing India to a certain paradise.  The last idea stems from a strong sense of homeland, a prevalent and persistent theme in Rushdie’s works.  He also has a sorcery capacity of dropping realizations on the heads of the reader.  What hit me is how the ending amplified what was said in the opening paragraph.   We are introduced to the hall porter being named Mixed-Up, this strikes skepticism in the eyes of the reader because it is a flexible word.  Its malleability makes for an interesting ending, Mixed-Up turned into, in the final lines, “’I’m the porter sir,’ the man said. ‘I don’t know anything about any mix-up’” (211).  The transition from Mixed-Up to mix-up is subtle but substantial, thus putting stress on the reader.  So the conflict for the reader is in interpreting the mix-up, the view of paradise in regards to India, and the usage of the schoolboy.  Making sense of the story comes from fleshing out larger themes and examining diction; Mixed-Up all along would be used to add drama and ambiguity to the ending while India’s relation to paradise seems to waver in the process of getting older and wiser.  Rushdie exemplifies excellent writing and crafts a story, but what exactly is the “mix-up”?

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