Immortality and the study of Grimus

Essay by nr051180University, Bachelor'sA+, July 2004

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"After drinking an elixir that bestows immortality upon him, a young Indian named Flapping Eagle spends the next seven hundred years sailing the seas with the blessing, and ultimately the burden, of living forever. Eventually, he grows weary of the sameness of life and journeys to the mountainous Calf Island to regain his mortality. There he meets other immortals obsessed with their own stasis, and he sets out to scale the island's peak, from which the mysterious and corrosive Grimus Effect emits. Through a series of thrilling quests and encounters, Flapping Eagle comes face-to-face with the island's creator and unwinds the mysteries of his own humanity."

In this allegorical work, Rushdie uses the characters to represent hopes as well as the frustrating realities of India's newly found freedom. Through extended dream sequences, Rushdie is able to blur the distinction between reality and imagination. What Salmon Rushdie stands for, is the right to secularism, pluralism, freedom of expression, tolerance--values that I hope we are all united in supporting In every work of Rushdie's, there is meaning.

He does not write frivolously, but instead examines different afflictions that plague today's society. Grimus had received both positive and negative criticism, but was established as a great literary work and a beneficial start to his writing career.

I greatly enjoyed this novel. It is a tale of people who cannot die, who all eventually end up on a hidden island controlled by a strange "Effect". Some may call this book science fiction, in that it does take place in another world, but most of Rushdie's books take place in altered realities. Rushdie's first published book, Grimus, tells the story of an American Indian who receives the gift of immortality and begins an odyssey to find the meaning of life. Immortality is on everyone's...