The Satanic Verses, Truth And Falsity

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Through the violent deaths and hypocrisy, doubt in the sacred is reintroduced. Eileen Barker illustrates brainwashing as the ‘control the religious leaders have exerted over their followers’. This questions whether belief is imposed or cultivated. John Updike writes that ‘Everything seemed still in place, yet something was immensely wrong’. Highlighting the sense of doubt in postmodernist texts, one may find that some things, such as religion, cannot be explained. Faith can waver or hold steadfast, characters revisiting belief in skepticism as ideology falters. In The Satanic Verses, truth and falsity is ultimately ambiguous. Some characters are featured as wrestling with religious doubt, others like Gibreel and Saladin think over their atheism after supernatural events. Definition is resisted, borders blurred, it is questionable whether events are happening or merely figments of imagination. Gibreel asks for ‘some sign’(30) that God is present during his illness, but realizes he is talking to air. He ‘lost his faith’(29) and even after metamorphosis, it is revealed that Gibreel is schizophrenic. The metamorphosis may be invented, as Rekha says to Gibreel ‘maybe you are going crazy’(7), but he is seen by several others to levitate. Illustrating the struggle between the real and imaginary, miracles are doubted, neither denied nor confirmed. From ‘Where there is no belief, there is no blasphemy’(380), the sacred is discredited and blasphemy is no more than a simple
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