Midnight's Children: Links to Other Texts

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Midnight's children.Links to other texts.
“The Arabian Nights”
In Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, the narrator repeatedly compares his own tales of his life to Scheherazade's, and mentions that he can't "count on having even a thousand nights and a night" (page 4) in which to tell them. The Arabian Nights, like Midnight's Children is an example of what might be called a self-conscious text or a Metafiction: it is a story about telling a story. Midnight's Children contains many metaphors about the process of writing and reading and the relationship between the reader and the narrator. The perforated sheet and the pickle jars are just two examples. Midnight's Children owes a great deal to the traditions and myths of Arabic literature of which The Arabian Nights is an early example. As in The Arabian Nights, Saleem Sinai is aware that if the reader loses interest he will cease to exist. As narrator he is almost paranoid about retaining our interest and credulity through his fabulous tales. The character Padma, who seems to be reading the text along with us, acts humorously as a metaphor for the reader who wants the story to be exciting but believable. Through her scolding and interventions, she has a role perhaps like that of King Schahriah, (if not with the same threat of violence) in shaping the story. Or perhaps it is us, the readers who are the true Schahriahs - we after all have the power to 'put the narrative to death' by losing interest and discarding the book! Rudyard Kipling’s “Kim”

Kim by Rudyard Kipling is a meandering voyage with an Anglo-Indian boy and his Tibetan mentor through colonial India. Kipling provides a detailed portrait of India’s diversity of cultures, landscapes, languages, and races comparable to Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children. And Midnight's Children has been interpreted as a postcolonial revision of Rudyard Kipling's Kim. In this case and many others, the postcolonial author tries to reveal how unjustly the European...
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