Free National Allegory: The Highlight Of Midnight’s Children Essay Example
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“Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie has been touted as a novel full of national allegory. It implies that the narration of Midnight’s Children has a literalization of the Indian political history simultaneously. The very beginning of the novel the reader’s are kept in no doubt in this regards. The protagonist of the novel, Saleem Sinai, is born at the exact hour of independence, which is on 15 august 1947, at the very stroke of midnight. Throughout the novel, the parallels can be drawn between the personal life of Saleem Sanai and the political position of the independent India. In fact, at the exact hour of independence, two kids were born, Shiva and Saleem, who were exchanged at birth by a nurse named Mary driven by the sense of communism. Here too, there is a parallel drawn with the Indian political history – birth of India and Pakistan – their destinies switched, at the hands of the Britishers. What can be said as an example of a national allegory – the parallels between Parvati’s labour pains and Indira Gandhi’s exulting national Emergency.
“and when the three contortionists had washed the baby and wrapped it in an old sari and brought it out for its father to see, at exactly the same moment, the word emergency was being heard for the first time, ”
Parvati’s labor pains have been equated with the efforts of Indira Gandhi to impose the state of Emergency in India in order to contain the building opposition against her. As Parvati pushes the baby, the leaders of the opposition are also forcing Indira to move out of the leadership position.
It was at the final stages of the labour that Indira Gandhi’s policemen stared rounding up all opposition, including the mythical larger than life figurines of JP Narayan and Morarji Desai. Once these stages were done, exactly the same time, Saleem Sinai’s son was born, as was born the state of emergency.
The above national allegory is extremely uncanny to read and establishes the skill of Rushdie that made him a world-class writer in the first place, while also establishing the finesse of thoughts and words in “Midnight’s Children”.
Rushdie, Salman. Midnight’s Children. London: Picador, 1982. Print.
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