Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Rushdie, Salman "The Satanic Verses" Buddy-Read - Questions to Parts 6 to 9


The Satanic Verses
by Salman Rushdie
was first published in 1988
Literary fiction/magic realism

Discussion Questions Parts 6 to 9, Week5

Our buddy read comes to an end.

Here are Emma's last questions for this week.

Parts 6-9 and concluding thoughts
1. There is definitely more criticism against the Qur’an in these parts, especially regarding women. Though most of these are presented as Gibreel’s dreams. What do you think about this literary tool, inserting all these as dreams?
2. What do you think about the way the author describes London’s hospitality? Do you think the author would still write these words today?
3. As Salahuddin returns to Bombay, Zeeny gives him the following advice: "You should really try and make an adult acquaintance with this place, this time. Try and embrace this city, as it is, not some childhood memory that makes you both nostalgic and sick. Draw it close. The actually existing place. Make its faults your own. Become its creature; belong." Why these advice now, not about London, but about the character’s city of origin?
4. Gibreel is originally portrayed as the successful immigrant, with the divine and angelic images, but he is sick in his mind and ends up committing suicide. Chamcha, who has suffered most in his immigration experience, and was associated with devilish imagery, seems now the more normal and balanced of the two. How do you explain this reversal?
5. Why do you think Rushdie has chosen to tell the story of Saladin’s father’s death in this final chapter? How does it relate to the rest of the novel? What functions does it serve at the end of the book?
6. There’s a powerful passage on love vs. hate:
"He [Saladin] congratulated himself on being the sort of person who had found hatred impossible to sustain for long. Maybe, after all, love was more durable than hate; even if love changed, some shadow of it, some lasting shape, persisted…
Hatred was perhaps like a finger-print upon the smooth glass of the sensitive soul; a mere grease-mark, which disappeared if left alone. Gibreel? Pooh! He was forgotten; he no longer existed. There; to surrender animosity was to become free."
Any reflection on this?
7. What do you think about the structure of the book? Was it satisfying for you? What is its purpose?
8. Did you find the ending satisfactory?
9. What do you think is the author’s ultimate message?
10. Did the book fulfill your expectations of it? Did you like it, why or why not?
11. Would you consider The Satanic Verses as a good example of the magical realism genre?
12. Was there anything you wish was explored that wasn’t?
13. Are you planning on reading more books by Rushdie?
14. What did you think about our buddy-read experience? Is it something you would like to do again?

Please go and visit her post to read our answers and maybe contribute your own. 

Thanks to everyone who was part of this experience. I hope you all enjoyed this as much as we did.

And, please, feel free to add any comments or questions whenever you feel like it, even in a couple of years.

All posts about this buddy-read.
Introduction on Emma's blog
Introduction on my blog
Pre-discussion questions by Emma
- Link to that on my blog
Questions to parts 1 and 2 by Marianne
- Link to that on Emma's blog
Questions parts 3 and 4 by Emma
- Link to that on my blog
Questions to part 5 by Marianne
- Link to that on Emma's blog
Questions parts 6 to 9 by Emma
- Link to that on my blog

We also read this in our international online book club in November 2021.

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