Midnight’s Children is an exuberant, riotous celebration of the richness of Indian society, but it also contains stark criticisms, particularly of politicians. It is an adventure-story, a love-story and a thriller, a war novel and an international and multi-generational portrait of India in the three decades after Independence.
The activities in this module invite you to consider the political significance of the novel in four stages.
Activity 1 - Autobiographical introductions compares Midnight’s Children with other literary texts, asking you to consider the significance of the novel’s form as fictional autobiography.
Activity 2 - Language and atrocity takes a closer look at two key passages to explore the way that Rushdie uses literary techniques to make political points.
Activity 3 - Use your ImagiNation introduces you to some key ideas from postcolonial theory and asks you to consider the relationship between fiction and nation.
Activity 4 - Speaking to / speaking for the nation develops these ideas further and invites you to reflect on your own experiences of reading international literature in English.