Discover the power of story-telling ...

Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a modern fairy tale that explores the importance of story-telling, freedom of speech, and using your imagination. Our detailed literary guide covers a variety of topics, including censorship, freedom and dictatorship, language and rhetoric, and various postmodern aspects of the novel. Use our vocabulary list and allusions page to make sense of difficult passages and test your learning with regular quizzes. 

All our courses are self-paced rather than live, so you can progress at your own speed.

Course curriculum

    1. Introduction to the Course

    2. Salman Rushdie's Life

    1. The Controversy

    2. Freedom of Speech Survey

    3. The Reaction: Activity

    4. A Free Speech Utopia

    5. Free Speech Questions

    1. Fiction, Truth, and the Imagination

    2. Fairy Tales

    3. Just a Figure of Speech

    4. Figures of Speech: Activity

    5. Serendipity

    6. The Power of Stories Quiz

    1. Introduction to Postmodernism

    2. The Importance of Language

    3. Metanarratives

    4. Binary Opposition Activity

    5. Binary Oppositions

    6. An Ocean of Allusions: Activity

    7. The Juggling Terrorist

    8. Shadow and Substance

    9. Postmodernism Quiz

    1. The Trauma of Divorce

    2. Questions

    3. Fighting Your Shadow

    4. Questions

    1. Buttoo or Bhutto?

    2. East versus West

    3. What is a "Mutinus"?

    4. Questions

About this course

  • $25.00
  • Recommended Age: 14+
  • 19 Lessons and Videos
  • 15 Activities

Learning Outcomes

This course has several objectives. Students will:

  • Improve their reading and comprehension skills

  • Understand common postmodern beliefs through a critical lens

  • Recognize the importance of free speech (as well as its challenges)

  • Reflect on the richness of language and the creative uses of the imagination

  • Connect with themes such as overcoming trauma, fighting political corruption, and coming of age


Conrad van Dyk

I'm a Professor of English and I love teaching great works of literature from across the centuries. I've taught everything from medieval texts to children's literature and contemporary British fiction. I'm a strong believer in classical education and the great books tradition, which is why I wanted to create better study guides for curious readers. In my spare time, I enjoy sports, playing the piano, spending time with my kids, and traveling.