Rushdie Rewriting History Through Midnight's Children
In Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, the novel’s protagonist, Saleem Sinai, born at the hour of India’s independence in August of 1947, represents India. Saleem uses major historical events such as Partition, the violent division of the Indian state into Pakistan and India, to move the plot along. Saleem’s telepathic powers allow him to enter other people’s minds just as the novel demonstrates the state penetrating the citizen’s minds to create a nation. Furthermore, Saleem’s construction of history through the pickle jars representing each chapter in his life parallels Rushdie’s construction of history through the novel. In Midnight’s Children, Rushdie explores the problems of heterogeneity in relation to the hegemonic ideology of nationalism. In this essay, I argue that in Midnight’s Children, Rushdie rewrites history. By transgressing the boundaries between history and fiction, Rushdie reveals the ways in which nationalism relies on the discursive construction of history.
Copyright (c) 2020 Leila Seyidova
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