Analysis of Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Title: Midnight’s Children

Author: Salman Rushdie

Context: Midnight's Children (1981) is a post colonial allegorical novel by Salman Rushdie. While modern India is represented by the thirty old Saleem Sinai who writes Midnight’s Children, his memoir, Shiva is destined to become not only the enemy of Saleem but also the most honored war hero of India. The fates of two children inevitably linked center around the historical story of modern India.

Synopsis: The story is about Saleem Sinai, one of the 1001 children born at the midnight hour. Each of the children born at this hour blessed with an extraordinary talent. They are both with a curse and privilege to be victims as well as master of their times. Saleem Sinai was born at midnight when India gained independence. By the coincidence, he found himself bewilderingly ‘handcuffed to history’. Saleem was born with gifts of a sense of smell that was wildly sensitive and an inner ear. The novel draws readers into a captivating story of a family set against a huge colorful background of India of the twentieth century.

Both the children were born in the very first hour on August 15, 1947, exactly at midnight when India gained independence from Great Britain. Both the boys were born in a hospital in Mumbai, however a nurse switches the babies. Saleem Sinai is the illegitimate son of a departing colonist from Britain and a Hindu woman belonging to a lower caste. The other child named Shiva is the son of a Muslim couple and is given to a poor street performer belonging to Hindu caste.  He had an unfaithful wife who had passed away.

Other works by the Author:

Novels

1975 – Grimus

1983 – Shame

1988 – The Satanic Verses

1995 – The Moor’s Last Sigh

1999 – The Ground Beneath Her Feet

2001 – Fury

2005 – Shalimar the Clown

2008 – The Enchantress of Florence

2015 – Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

2017 – The Golden House

2019 – Quichotte

Collections

1994 – East, West

1947 – 1997 – Mirrorwork: 50 Years of Indian Writing

2008 – The Best American Short Stories

Children’s Books

1990 – Haroun and the Sea of Stories

2010 – Luka and the Fire of Life

Essay and nonfiction

1987 – The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey

1981-1991 – Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism

1992 – The Wizard of Oz: BFI Film Classics

1998 – Mohandas Gandhi

1999 – Imagine There is No Heaven

1992- 2002 – Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction

2004 – The East Is Blue

2009 – A fine pickle

2012 – In the South

2012 – Joseph Anton: A Memoir

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