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European Journal of Business &

Social Sciences

Available at https://ejbss.org/

ISSN: 2235-767X

Volume 07 Issue 03

March 2019

Available online: https://ejbss.org/ P a g e | 1171

Technique of Midnight’s children

Randeep Singh

Assistant professor of English

G.C. Dubaldhan (Jhajjar)

Email: - Profrandeep@gmail.com

Abstract: - Midnight’s Children takes different traits from almost all genre. It is a realistic novel but it is

presented by non-realistic types. The author got success in achieveing his goal by using surrealistic and

non-naturalistic modes. Rushdie uses epic form because it is the most flexible form that allows

digressions. Rushdie invented a new genre by mixing fairy tales with politics. The intermingling of the

history and the hero is very complex. Saleem is the hero of the novel but on the other hand he is a

victim also. Every action of the hero moves along the historical lines. The fantasy is mixed with the

reality. Salman Rushdie has used irony and humor in a very skilfull way. Rushdie links autobiography

with the history of India.

Keywords: - Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie, technique, Independence, India, history, politics,

narrative, Padma, novel, fantasy, reality, Saleem.

Midnight’s Children is a socio-political novel. It contains incidents of pre and post independent societies

of India in political terms. Novelists of today writing political theme take recourse to fable and fantasy in

order to create their own world. Fable and Fantasy are the alternative modes of realism. Midnight’s

Children is a novel which includes one or the other traits of almost all genre. It is realistic novel

portrayed with non-realistic modes. Rushdie uses surrealistic and non-naturalistic modes to achieve his

goal. The novel is full of politico-historical events. The movement of people determined by various

political forces which are organized by an outstanding technique within the structure of the novel .The

contradictions in which we find the characters hanging are caused by the system in which the individual

finds himself badly trapped by the politics. A writer needed a unique method to delineate such a

complex modern society so he indulges in free use of fantasy, fable, exaggeration, distortions,

caricature, mimicry, jokes and other non-fictional details. The fictional self-reflexiveness, irony

commentary fragmentation of individual character, magic and myth, political passion, humor and terror

which are the characteristics of Marquez in his ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ are parts of Rushdie’s

style also. Rushdie has used post-modernist technique to intensify the actuality so that we may

experience it more intensely in the world outside. History and the political fate of mankind has been

portrayed through the use of magic realism. This novel is a combination of “Magic and fantasy, realism,

extravagant force multi-mirrored analogy, and a potent symbolic structure.” When all these particles

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European Journal of Business &

Social Sciences

Available at https://ejbss.org/

ISSN: 2235-767X

Volume 07 Issue 03

March 2019

Available online: https://ejbss.org/ P a g e | 1172

mixed with each other the resultant novel is unprecedented in scope, manner and achievement in the

hundred and fifty year old tradition of the Indian novel in English.

Rushdie prefers epic form. The beginning of fiction is fable i.e. telling lies. The elements which

are clearly untrue are central to the notion of fiction. That does not mean that there is no truth in the

story. The epic tradition is the most flexible form which allows the digressions and interpolations.

Rushdie has conjured of a striking new genre by mixing free flight fairy tale with savage political

indictment.

Narratives are acts of concealment. The very premise of the novel alleviates the art of suspense

to a life preserving skill. Different stories narrated by Saleem are digression in the history of novel

writing. But the depths are more fascinating than the deceptive surface. So we have to go deep down

the surface to find the hidden treasures of significance in the novel. To realize that the narration is not

directed at Padma but to an implied listener that is the nation which controls the fate of the narrator.

Saleem has very strong links with history both actively and passively. On the one hand he is a witness of

the events happening on the other he plays a more active role in the form of influencing crowd and

individuals. He is the leader of Pakistani army tracking team. He has uneasy friendship with the help of

his telepathic linking between him has a human radio-receiver and the other children born along with

him at the Midnight hour.

The relationship between the hero and the history is shown to be very complex. Saleem is both

a protagonist and a victim. He painfully realizes that it is both a privilege and a curse of Midnight’s

Children to be masters and victims of their times. Saleem sees himself acting upon history while being its

main victim which can be treated as a kind of self-delusion appropriate to magic realism. Every action of

Saleem Sinai is conceived along historical lines. The pickle fumes stimulate his memory time and again

and the taste of the unforgettable chutney helps him to recollect his life through the process of pickling

its events. The truth remains that reality is something of which the novelist can manage his audience to

believe. The author creates magical effects through reverberations of past and provides the world with a

chutnification of history by pickling of time.

The setting of the novel is naturalistic and identifiable but surrealistic images have been

attached to it. The fantasy which is famed to cheat works because the background in which events are

rooted is real. Most of the dates are accurate and cities are real cities. This is done so that fantasy could

be rooted into that kind of reality. This is magic realism which terms the harsh realities of life into

laughing strokes of small events with the touch of a magical cane. This realism has a direct connection

with thematic aspect of the novel which makes the theme and the technique inseparable. The novel is

deeply rooted in politics and the many children of midnight represent wealth and poverty, reason and

unreason, peace and war etc. They are the children of history and their times. Saleem symbolizes India

and represents the M.C.C. but he is just one speck, one part of the whole. However realization comes

towards the end of the novel. The novel suggests that it is not only the individual that effects history but

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European Journal of Business &

Social Sciences

Available at https://ejbss.org/

ISSN: 2235-767X

Volume 07 Issue 03

March 2019

Available online: https://ejbss.org/ P a g e | 1173

vice-versa also. The thirty chapters representing thirty odd years of Saleem’s life are closed tightly. But

there is one more representing the hope and the possibilities of future. The hope is represented by

Saleem’s unreal son and Aadam’s real grandson, Aadam Sinai who though born on the day the notorious

emergency was imposed does not utter a single word until the emergency comes to an end after six

hundred thirty five days long midnight. So there is hope; there is life; there is future. The future is

awaiting us with its horrors and promises.

Saleem unities all children of midnight by bringing them under the umbrella of Midnight’s

children conference, he says that they should have some purpose in their lives. Shiva another child of

midnight believes that one should get what one want by hook or crook. When Shiva’s finger is cut off

during a fight. The secrecy of his birth comes into the open and Saleem realizes that he has usurped

what has really belonged to Shiva. The guilt consciousness that sets in him forces him not to convene

the meetings of M.C.C. in order to avoid meeting Shiva.

Rushdie uses Padma as character who functions at the symbolic and narrative levels. Rushdie

has used irony and humor very skilfully in the novel. Rushdie uses birth images to link autobiography

with India’s history. Saleem’s birth with India’s independence is a coincidence but not without different

implications. Saleem is born to promises of fulfillment but chutnified by history and the widow Saleem’s

mother started her labour pains 24 hours before his birth which is the time of when Pakistan came into

existence. Saleem’s son is born on the day when Mrs. Gandhi imposed emergency. Saleem’s wife goes

through a 13 days labour which represents 13 days of political turmoil in India. Immediately preceding

the imposition of emergency. Saleem’s face is compared with the map of India and a part of his head is

tonsured which represents Kashmir. Rushdie captures the headlines of current newspapers and presents

the history of India like a family album. A novelist describes Saleem as a victim of circumstances as J.L.

Nehru writes a letter to him.

Saleem is an autobiographer who starts his journey from himself and ends it on himself. Padma

is a character – interpolator sometimes her importance increases; sometimes it decreases. The author

makes sure that the narrative does not tell all things at once – it should conceal something to be told at

a latter stage. This is how the 1st part of novel is written. Saleem laments Padma’s impatience and her

desire for linear narrative because he wants to introduce minor chords which give birth to later

movements. Saleem believes in the interconnectedness of people and events.

Midnight’s Children is a novel which includes one or the other traits of almost all genre. It is

realistic novel portrayed with non-realistic modes. The author uses surrealistic and non-naturalistic

modes to achieve his goal. Rushdie prefers epic form. The epic tradition is the most flexible form which

allows the digressions and interpolations. Rushdie has conjured of a striking new genre by mixing free

flight fairy tale with savage political indictment. The relationship between the hero and the history is

shown to be very complex. Saleem is both a protagonist and a victim. Every action of Saleem Sinai is

conceived along historical lines. The fantasy which is famed to cheat works because the background in