Essay on Salman Rushdie's Midnight Children

Essay on Salman Rushdie's Midnight Children

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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.

Midnight’s Children is a story that refers to the children born within an hour of midnight on August 15th, 1947, when Independent India was born. The novel itself describes the history of Saleem Sinai’s life and origins; and because of his oddly synchronous birth, it is also a history of the fledging nation, up to and including the Emergency under Indira Gandhi and India’s first nuclear test. Another relevant plot of the story is that Saleem’s family has roots in Kashmir, the Muslim-majority Indian state that remains the biggest brogue under the nation’s veil. Rushdie skillfully portrays how, in India, myth and reality, are often intertwined. His use of figurative language, therefore, dramatically showcases the domestic and political lifestyles of the people living in post-colonial India.

Rushdie coherently makes use of various metaphors and symbols to aide his intentions of informing the readers about the major events while at the same time keeping them close with the everyday life of people.

The most predominant metaphor of Midnight’s Children is the making of chutney. Chutney is a sweet and spicy relish stirred and mixed with different vegetables, spices or meat items. R...


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...odies the whole notion of postcolonial India’s history in miniature in Saleem’s life. One of the major reasons this book and other works of Rushdie, including The Satanic Verses and The Moor’s Last Sigh was excessively popular was because of Rushdie’s impressive and appropriate use of metaphors, allegories and symbols. These elements have been competently sustained throughout the novel as a part of the image sets, which add to the success of the story as a magic realism. Therefore, each chapter of Midnight’s Children is rightly “likened to a jar of pickles, its title to a jar label. Yet-to-be-written chapters are empty jars, and the writing itself is compared to the delicate blending of spices necessary to creating fine pickles” (Salem 1). The novel, thus, becomes a major work of literature, central to the political and domestic lifestyle in the post-colonial India.

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