Salman Rushdie's The Moor's Last Sigh: Using Art to Ascend Mortality

Essay by oedipus December 2003

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Downloaded 30 times

No one can doubt the literary genius of Salman Rushdie: his philosophical nuggets of wisdom, depth of character development, and his poetic skill in tying the novel together. Many writers have attempted to portray India's hodge-podge of religions, cultures, and morals, but Rushdie triumphs over them. He writes in a lyrical manner, and the challenge in absorbing his intense artistry is well worth the effort. An element of The Moor's Last Sigh that is unique is that the narrator, "The Moor", does not just come into contact with this mixture of race and religion, his blood relation is a fusion of this mixture, which allows him to be a direct voice in depicting its complexity.

Of all the characters in Rushdie's novel, Aurora, the narrator's mother, stands out to symbolize the theme of the novel - the grand impact of history in spite of human mortality. As a young girl, Aurora finds herself void of parental guidance.

Her mother, Isabella is constantly engrossed in reviving the family business while her father,m Camoens, is in prison. With both parents absent, Aurora takes on art as her outlet. Through her paintings and sketches, a majority of the family history is preserved. "She had put history on the walls" (p. 59). She used her surroundings as her main subjects in the midst of imagery that seemed to surpass the mentality of a young girl. However, her young innocence allowed her to reveal things freely, without inhibition.

History tends to omit important details, embellish others, and it often produces altered versions of the truth. In the novel, the narrator is aware of this fact and is careful to classify handed-down anecdotes as being genuine. However, Aurora's art is key in discovering a lot of the hidden history that is embedded in the Moor's...