Interpretation of Rushdie and Kazantzakis\' Stories


As I look back now, and begin to appraise the independant novels that I
have read in the past few weeks, I was both stunned and surprised by the
psychological effects that they had imposed on my mind. Whether it was
Rushdie\'s tale of diabolical consequences or Kazantzakis\' story on the
trial of Christ, I found it increasingly difficult to maintain a coalition
between the influence of society and the animosity of religion. Both novels
featured plots centralized around the presence of an unseen mystical force,
or rather, the significance and power of God. Whether it was the religious
or saintly detriment of God\'s influence or society\'s standardization of
identifiying God, the time factors of each book did little to alter the
author\'s expressions and inclinations about religious beliefs. The Satanic
Verses featured the modern day society compressing the main characters with
their positronic rules and restrictions. The Last Temptation of Christ
focused on the feudalism exhibited by the oppressors of the world at the
current time (Roman militia).

Upon the climatic ending of each novel, I would effortlessly
integrate the author\'s deluge of spiritual dynamism with my own. This
produced an ethical conflict in my mind that fought to distinguish what
prominence God had maintained in my lifetime. I could scarcely believe that
such literature would not have a profound effect on an individual who
possessed strong religious background (this assimilates the decision of the
exodus Rushdie has maintained contrary to the threats of the Islamic
community) Never have I encountered such literature that treads upon on
line between celestial religion versus oppresive regime Therefore, in
analyzing and interpreting each piece of fiction, I was able to understand
what similarities they held and why such novels can procreate an
undersirable amount of calamity in the world.

The supernatural portrayed a dominant role in both texts. Each author
seemed to enjoy casting these uncanny forces against their main characters
in order to induce their thoughts across much more clearly. In the Satanic
Verses, I found the physical metamorphosis of Gibreel Farishta and Saladin
Chamcha to be terrifiyingly graphic and demeaning. "Looking into the mirror
at his altered face, Chamcha attempted to remind himself of himself. I am a
real man, he told the mirror, with a real history and a planned-out future.
I am a man to whom certain things are of importance: rigour,
self-discipline, reason, the pursuit of what is noble without recourse to
that old crutch" (Saladin remarking about his physical appearance). Having
their physical status altered, they were unable to communicate on a humane
level with other people in the world. It seemed as though their lack of
faith and nobility to God had created an ethereal war between them and the
supernatural spectrum. The angelic Gibreel was now only capable of
exhibiting feelings of order, peace and love; while the demonic Saladin was
forced to perform grotesque feats of chaos, hatred and violence. Before
their transformations into socially unacceptable deviants, Gibreel fought
long and hard in his prophetic movie career and Saladin enagaged in
truthful, honest business negotiations. Their emotions and mental status
was drastically changed by this supernatural intervention. It was not
until Gibreel and Saladin had visited the various parts of the world in
order to experience the humanity and benevolence that God had wanted them
to witness, that they both eventually looked deep into their hearts to
realise that only they controlled their desires and aspirations with their
newly granted powers (by this time, Gibreel had conferred with Saladin
about being a "Pawn in God\'s game of Life). Both these characters began as
non-believers, idle worshippers of their religious affiliation, but towards
the end of the book, they had transformed into faithful advocates of God. I
can only assume that such decisions were reached due to metamorphosis that
they endured and the punishment that they had suffered. It was generally
accepted in their society that the messiah will punish all zealots and
non-believers to those who follow their designated religion.

This is relates to The Last Temptation, as Nikos Kanzantzakis guides
the reader through a detailed portrayal of Christ\'s journey to Jerusalem in
order to establish his belief in God. Like the main recipients in the
Satanic Verses, Christ held a firm decision that God could not exist since
his people were being tortured and abused by the Romans. His belief that it
was up to him to survive under the oppression of the Romans and eventually
to accumulate a substantial amount of financial security in the market
sector of Nazareth would trigger another metamorphosis brought on by the
divination of God.