Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Midnight's Children is an allegory for the events in India after its independence in 1947 (see Partition of India). The central character of the story, and also its narrator, is Saleem Sinai, who is born at the exact time that India became independent. Saleem Sinai's life then parallels the changing fortunes of the country after independence.
The novel is also an expression of the author's own childhood, his affection for the city of Bombay (now Mumbai) of those times, and the tumultuous variety of the Indian subcontinent. The technique of magical realism finds liberal expression through out the novel and in fact, is crucial to constructing the parallel to the country's history. It has, therefore, been compared to the original exponent of magical realism, Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. The novel is also recognised for its remarkably flexible and innovative use of the English language, with a liberal mix of native Indian languages, this being a departure from conventional Indian English writing.
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