There are 10 critical essays on Midnight's Children.
Critical Essays on Midnight's Children
Critical Essay by Teresa Heffernan
9,314 words, approx. 31 pages
In the following essay, Heffernan argues that, in Midnight's Children, Rushdie explores “an alternative, though equally apocalyptic, concept of the nation, the Islamic umma.”
Critical Essay by James Harrison
6,538 words, approx. 22 pages
In the following essay, Harrison examines the structure, scope, and thematic unity of Midnight's Children and Shame.
Critical Essay by Patricia Merivale
6,209 words, approx. 21 pages
In the following essay, Merivale investigates the influence of Günter Grass's The Tin Drum on Midnight's Children.
Critical Essay by Nalini Natarajan
4,865 words, approx. 16 pages
In the following essay, Natarajan perceives the function of women in Midnight's Children to be a signifier for the changing social status quo of India.
Critical Essay by Maria Couto
2,075 words, approx. 7 pages
One of the more curious aspects of the annual Booker Prize is the fact that in the eleven years since its inception it has been awarded four times to novels set in India with the connecting leitmotif of the decline and fall of the British Empire…. [The fourth novel in this group,] Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, takes in most of this history yet is altogether different. It is the view from within, of colonial and independent India from the midnight hour of 15 August 1947, the birt...
Critical Essay by Valentine Cunningham
1,061 words, approx. 4 pages
India is so big, so crowded, so jammed full of the fascinatingly particular, so awingly representative of human variety, that a novel pretending to India as subject can't avoid the question of how novels in general may claim truthfully to cope with the daunting vastnesses, the multiplicities of things and persons. What makes Midnight's Children so extraordinarily important, and moreover (for literary importance isn't always matched by a fetching readability), what makes it so vertiginou...
Critical Essay by Anita Desai
649 words, approx. 2 pages
[Because Midnight's Children relates] the progress of the political juggernaut through the Indian subcontinent—the juggernaut being literally a religious procession taken through the land in celebration, although said to leave behind a wake of destruction—one might expect a dark and somber treatise. It is nothing of the sort. On the contrary, Midnight's Children burgeons with life, with exuberance and fantasy. It has the same effect on the eyes and the ears as a magnificent circu...
Critical Essay by Robert Towers
488 words, approx. 2 pages
In the bleakness of its vision, Midnight's Children is in many ways the counterpart of V. S. Naipaul's India: A Wounded Civilization, which appeared three years ago. While it is possible to agree or disagree with Naipaul's sobering nonfictional assessment, it would be pointless to do either with Rushdie-Saleem's hyperbolic vision, which is that of a novelist who might at any point begin to laugh at his own intensity. [In isolating any particular cluster of figures, events, and th...
Critical Essay by Clark Blaise
485 words, approx. 2 pages
For a long time it has seemed that novels from India write their own blurbs: poised, witty, delicate, sparkling. What this fiction has been missing is a different kind of ambition, something just a little coarse, a hunger to swallow India whole and spit it out. It needed a touch of Saul Bellow's Augie March brashness, Bombay rather than Chicago born and going at things in its own special Bombay way. Now, in "Midnight's Children," Salman Rushdie has realized that ambition. (p. 1)
Critical Essay by K. B. Rao
187 words, approx. 1 pages
Rushdie attempts to swallow all of India in his epic novel [Midnight's Children]. Therein lies his ambition and his downfall. He is authentic when he writes about Bombay, the place of his birth, the city where he grew up. Probably there is no other Indian novel that captures the sights and smells of Bombay as Midnight's Children does, but when Rushdie writes about the rest of India, he is neither so forceful nor so authentic. Rushdie attempts to answer the question of one's identity, bo...
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