Salman Rushdie's Midnight Children
- Length: 1676 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Salman Rushdie's Midnight Children
Salman Rushdie's, "Midnight's Children" begins with the birth of Saleem Sinai at Midnight on August 15, 1947. Interestingly enough it was the exact date of when India first gained its Independence. The Novel proceeds to explain the birth of Saleem Sinai. Saleem's Grandfather, Aadam Aziz falls in love with Naseem. When they get married they bear five children. Nadir Khan, who is forced to live in Dr. Aziz's cellar, marries his daughter Mumtez. After two years a marriage of no intercourse falls apart. Nadir leaves a note in the cellar pronouncing his divorce to Mumtaz. She later marries Ahmed Sinai and changes her name to Amina Sinai. Shortly afterwards Amina is pregnant.
The story then becomes complicated because Mary Pereira, who is a mid-wife, switches Ahmed and Amina with Vanita and Wee Willie Winkie's baby. Our narrator Saleem is therefore raised into the Sinai's home while Shiva, the baby of Ahmed and Amina is raised in a much poorer home. This act guaranteed Vanita's son a life of comfort. Shortly afterwards Saleem's mother, Amina gives birth to Saleem's baby sister The Brass Monkey.
Saleem begins to hide in closets because he feels like the outside world overwhelms him. One day, when he was hiding he hears his mother on the phone and call out Nadir Khan's name. It became evident that Amina still had feelings for Nadir Khan. Shortly afterwards Saleem learns of his newfound powers created from the lodged cord of his pajamas in his nose.
Saleem secretly sneaks into his mother's car when she goes on her urgent shopping trip. He confirms that she is indeed having an affair when he sees her meeting with Nadir Khan. Saleem is treated at the hospital because he lost a middle finger. It is there where the doctor reveals Saleem's past. The doctor notes that Saleem shares neither Amina's nor Ahmed's blood type. Amina finally stops her affair when she hears about a jealous husband who, in a fit of rage, murdered his wife and her lover.
Mary Pareira, finally reveals the secret of how she switched the babies at birth. The marriage of Amina and Ahmed takes a blow and gets so bad that Amina leaves Ahmed and takes the kids to Pakistan. The Brass Monkey earns a new nickname, Jamila Singer, because of her newfound singing ability. The Family returns back to India when they get news that Ahmed has heart problems.
How to Cite this Page
| Essay on Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children’ 1 Introduction This paper will try to show how Salman Rushdie uses narrative technique, genre and the concept of history in a very new way in Midnight’s Children in order to place his story outside the euro-centric tradition of literature, narrative and history. These traditions, appearing in the colonial period, have constructed a notion of universalism in literature where the ‘classics’ of the western canon have set the order of the day (Ashcroft 91-92).... [tags: Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children]|
:: 6 Works Cited
|Essay about Salman Rushdie's Midnight Children - Salman Rushdie's Midnight Children Salman Rushdie's, "Midnight's Children" begins with the birth of Saleem Sinai at Midnight on August 15, 1947. Interestingly enough it was the exact date of when India first gained its Independence. The Novel proceeds to explain the birth of Saleem Sinai. Saleem's Grandfather, Aadam Aziz falls in love with Naseem. When they get married they bear five children. Nadir Khan, who is forced to live in Dr. Aziz's cellar, marries his daughter Mumtez. After two years a marriage of no intercourse falls apart.... [tags: Rushdie Midnight Children]||1676 words|
|Essay about Power of Woman in Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie - In Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, women possess power within the sphere of their home and family, otherwise known as the domestic sphere (the private realm of domestic life, child-rearing, house-keeping, and religious education). Throughout the course of their lives, the possession of power changes as women’s role shift from childhood and adolescence to being a wife and mother. This possession of power manifests as their ability to control their decisions in life and the lives of those around them once they enter this domestic sphere.... [tags: home and family, marriage]||1138 words|
|Essay on Salman Rushdie's Midnight Children - Salman Rushdie's Midnight Children Salman Rushdie is one of the greatest writers India has ever produced. Amongst the premier works of Rushdie, Midnight’s Children continues to be one of the best meta-fictional works of the postmodern era. Rushdie’s attempt to break the binary by using a different kind of narrative and play of words put him in the likes of American prodigies like Thomas Pynchon. Rushdie has marinated each line of his story with a web of words, abundance of allusions and a chutney of twists and turns.... [tags: Rushdie Midnight Children India Essays]||1467 words|
| Orientalist Perception of India in Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children - The concept of orientalism refers to the western perceptions of the eastern cultures and social practices. It is a specific expose of the eurocentric universalism which takes for granted both, the superiority of what is European or western and the inferiority of what is not. Salman Rushdie's Booker of the Bookers prize winning novel Midnights Children is full of remarks and incidents that show the orientalist perception of India and its people. It is Rushdie's interpretation of a period of about 70 years in India's modern history dealing with the events leading to the partition and beyond.... [tags: Eurocentric, universalism, orientalism]|
:: 3 Works Cited
|Analysis of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children Essay - Analysis of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children employs strategies which engage in an exploration of History, Nationalism and Hybridity. This essay will examine three passages from the novel which demonstrate these issues. Furthermore, it will explore why each passage is a good demonstration of these issues, how these issues apply to India in the novel, and how the novel critiques these concepts. The passage from pages 37-38 effectively demonstrates the concept of history, as it foregrounds elements important to this issue.... [tags: History Nationalism Hybridity Literature Essays]||1061 words|
|Analysis of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children and Virginia Woolfe’s Mrs. Dalloway - Transitions of place, time, and character are key to the storytelling in Salman Rushdie's “Midnight's Children” and Virginia Woolfe’s “Mrs. Dalloway”. Rushdie explores the History, Nationalism and Hybridism of the nation of India after they became independent of Great Britain. Woolfe comments heavily on English society more through her description of her characters, and the weaving of time and place is an effective way to telling the stories of her characters as we follow them through a single day.... [tags: literary analysis, literary criticism]||1603 words|
| Themes of Midnight's Children Essay - ... The surgery “depriving me of nose-given telepathy; of banishing me from the possibility of midnight children”(438) . He does gain, however, a supernatural sense of smell from the surgery. His smell is so powerful that can even smell emotions. Ultimately, even though his connection to all of the other children was destroyed, he now he has the power to know people’s emotion and therefore have deeper insight on everyone around him. A theme that also occurs throughout the novel is the opposition between fate and freewill.... [tags: Salman Rushdie's novel analysis]|
:: 5 Works Cited
| Essay on Condemned By a Perforated Sheet: Midnight's Children - In Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children,” Saleem Sinai clings to his silver spittoon inlaid with lapis lazuli (the spittoon given to his mother, Amina Sinai, by Rani of Cooch Naheen for her dowry) as a sort of personal talisman. The spittoon, responsible for his temporary memory loss (after hitting him in the head during an air raid), remains a symbol of his former life, a symbol he cherishes even when he is incapable of remembering what it means. The spittoon represents the former wholeness of his life, his family, his country.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Salman Rushdie]|
:: 3 Works Cited
| Midnights Children by Salman Rushdie Essay - Midnights Children Salman Rushdei 1. Comment on the author’s style and characterization. Are the characters believable or paper cutouts. Comic or tragic or both. Are their dilemmas universal to human nature or particular to their situation. - Rushdie's narrator, Saleem Sinai, is the Hindu child raised by wealthy Muslims. Near the beginning of the novel, he informs us that he is falling apart--literally: I mean quite simply that I have begun to crack all over like an old jug--that my poor body, singular, unlovely, buffeted by too much history, subjected to drainage above and drainage below, mutilated by doors, brained by spittoons, has started coming apart at the seams.... [tags: Essays Papers]|
:: 1 Works Cited
Midnight Children Salman Rushdie Cellar Stops Shiva Shares Khan
Amina and Ahmed rekindle their love for one another. Amina convinces her husband to move to Pakistan. He agrees to go but before they trick Saleem into getting a surgery to clear his nostrils. After the surgery, Saleem is no longer able to read people's mind. When they moved to Pakistan a war erupted and tragedy struck the Sanai family. A bomb killed Amina, her unborn child, her sister, and Ahmed. Saleem decides to join the Pakistani Army. Saleem suffers from memory loss but recovers from it when he is bitten by a poisonous snake in the jungle. Strangely enough Saleem recovers his memory but can't remember his first name. Saleem then meets with Parvati-the-Witch who uses her magic to cure Saleem so that he could remember his name. She also uses her magic to allow Saleem to return to India in a basket.
Parvati-the-Witch then strangely summons Shiva who gets her pregnant so she could convince Saleem to marry her. A short time and a marriage later Aadam Sinai is born on midnight. Aadam is born with huge ears and does not speak a single word. The end of the book concludes with Saleem expecting to marry Padma. Saleem admits that he has lied about how Shiva died. He in fact was shot although not through the heart, by one of his lovers. At the end of the day Aadam says the word "Abracadabra" Saleem is proud of his son and although worried about the world he's leaving behind for his son, senses that he will be just fine. He notes that when his son sleeps his eyeballs don't move and he is pleased to discover that because he knows that he doesn't "surrender to dreams."
To analyze this book the first step would be to analyze Salman Rushdie. Salman was born into a Muslim family and grew with western and eastern influences. He went to England as a youth and moved from India to Pakistan with his family. He wrote with a bias against the Muslim faith. It became evident in every book and when "The Satanic Verses" was written there was a fatwa against him by an Iranian clergy. The Fatwa was later removed and Rushdie came out of hiding. He apologized for his actions by writing, "In Good Faith". Salman Rushdie has some similarities with the characters of the book. His family moved from India to Pakistan, just like Saleem's mother has done. Rushdie has always believed in challenging the norms of society and show the importance of individual belief. Saleem's grandfather has throughout his life struggled to believe in God. Rushdie's allegiance to India and Pakistan clouded his sense of identity and always pulled on the strings of his morality. Saleem is clearly distressed throughout the novel over the same problem that Rushdie has faced. Salam Rushdie writes about his beliefs, thoughts, and even experiences in, "Midnight's Children".
The characterizations of his characters in this book are somewhat believable but, due to the magical nature of the book, are clearly fictional. Shiva, for example, has superhuman powers while Saleem can read people's mind. The characters are mostly all tragic. Saleem fights within himself to try to answer the questions of his existence and identity. Marriages are disrupted on several occasions. Amina rekindles her love with both Khan and Ahmed. She is confused with her feelings and does not know how to both contain and show it. She dies in a very tragic way along with her unborn child. The problems that the characters face are universal. Characters face problems like adultery, a sense of identity, belief or disbelief in God, health problems, aggression and other problems that are widespread. An argument can be used that there are some problems that are particular to the situation of the troubled times of India, such as the changing sense of nationalism and Saleem's troubled sense of identity. Although there are some dilemmas that are particular to the situation in India, most are more universal to human nature.
The most important theme of this novel is the recurring theme of unknown parental figures. Throughout the novel Saleem refers to people as his parents. He searches for them, but has no success. It is as if the least important characters of the novel are his actual parents. This sense of a parentless child could be interpreted as the way India lacks a true sense of identity due to British rule. India in 1947 lacked a true sense of independence because of the long British rule. Saleem feelings of having two different sets of parents are like India's troubled double parentage.
The social structure in the novel shows that each of the male characters in the novel are influenced by the women that they interact with. Women in the novel are important and the effects they have on men should not be understated. Saleem is attracted to women but at the same time are repelled by them. His conflicting attitudes of women are especially true of Jamila.
Magic can be seen as a way to bind Indian culture of its past to the present chaos of mixed cultures in India. Rushdie uses this magic to show the readers that history itself is sometimes inaccurate. The act of using fantasy and fact can make a novel believable while grabbing the reader's attention. The magic in Rushdie's novel is used for entertainment purposes.
Rushdie's religious and political views can be seen as challenging the norms of society. In his novel he sympathizes with the Saleem and his grandfather even though they are quite controversial. Saleem and his grandfather's religious beliefs are defiant of Islam. Even though Saleem was born in a Muslim family, to him the existence of God is in question. Rushdie seemingly puts himself into his works and gives reason to believe that Saleem is a replica of himself. His religious views of Islam are negative. Saleem seems to want to appropriate some of the Islamic tradition's authority while at the same time he questions its legitimacy.
Rushdie urges individualism and modernity as opposed to tradition and family solidarity. In the novel he sympathizes with the more westernized Indian characters rather than the more traditional ones. Shiva compared to Saleem is much more powerful physically, but Saleem is always concerned with the future and the hope of a better future. Saleem uses logic to solve his problems while Shiva uses his brute force. Rushdie shows that there is a clash between the old and new when Ahmed is confronted to sell his residence to make new for modern developments. The act of Saleem hiding in the closet from the outside world and his family reinforces Rushdie's beliefs of individualism because Saleem does not want to yield to the outside world and the norms of it. In the last paragraph of the story Saleem is confident that his son will be able to learn from the mistakes of the past generations and this shows that Rushdie is accepting of change and not afraid of it.
Studying works of creative literature to understand another society and its history serves a very important purpose. If we study History just through the means of historic text then we will never see the whole picture. The feelings of people would be left behind. Just as we are seen from Saleem, history is not always reliable. The act of Saleem admitting that he lied about the way Shiva died and the inaccurate events and historical context through the novel purposefully placed by Rushdie serves to reinforce the fact the history can sometimes lie.
Analysis of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children Essay
1060 Words5 Pages
Analysis of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children
Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children employs strategies which engage in an exploration of History, Nationalism and Hybridity. This essay will examine three passages from the novel which demonstrate these issues. Furthermore, it will explore why each passage is a good demonstration of these issues, how these issues apply to India in the novel, and how the novel critiques these concepts.
The passage from pages 37-38 effectively demonstrates the concept of history, as it foregrounds elements important to this issue. Rushdie, challenges the conventional modes of history through his self reflective narrative structure. The passage is a good demonstration of its topic as it…show more content…
For Saleem, this is history, and although it is just a story of his, it now has been documented and becomes history. This illustrates the problems faced by post-colonial writers in re-writing history. They become marginalised , as history was based on public events. Yet, Midnight’s Children draws on many historical events, which parallel that to India’s. Saleem Sinai provides us with an alternative version of India’s modern history from his point of view. For example, he was born on August 15 1947, on “the stroke of midnight”, at the precise instant of India’s Independence. The time of birth matters because it has made him “mysteriously handcuffed to history.” It is evident that the concept of history runs throughout the novel. Midnight’s Children offers an alternative history of India.
The passage detailing Methwold’s Estate on page 92 illustrates the issue of nationalism. It explores the historical, and national explanation of the founding of Bombay, “a dream of British Bombay fortified, defending India’s west against all comers”, which saw “Methwold’s vision a step closer to reality”. This passage shows the transfer of national assets to the elites. It is a classic model of the transfer of a nation from colonisers which tries to manipulate a nation.
This passage foregrounds the question of creating a national identity out of the legacy of an empire. Yet it is quite ironic as this transfer doesn’t really alter the dominant indigenous