Analysis of an Extract from Midnight's Children

Topics: Protagonist, Indian National Congress, Indian independence movement Pages: 3 (1059 words) Published: February 26, 2015

Section A: Fiction Assignment
This is an extract from the, Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie. In this extract, the protagonist, Saleem Sinai shares the history about his birth and the significance of why his birth is considered as a historical event. He explains how on the 15th of August 11947, he was born but at the very time of his entrance into the world, India gained its independence from the British. The rest of the extract is focused on his concerns and feelings about sharing his monumental day with an important date in India’s history. In this essay, I will provide a close reading of the extract which will focus on the political and social setting of India, imagery and how tone and diction play a role in the creation of character. This extract is centred on a historical time for India, the day of “India’s arrival at independence”, the 15th of August 1947. India attained independence following an Independence Movement noted for great nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience led by the Indian National Congress. On this day in 1947, Jawaharial Nehru, became India’s first prime minister and raised the Indian national flag above the Lahore Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi. Needless to say, celebrations on this day were over the top and in full force. The British Empire had ruled India for some time and now that the population was free, a certain buzz was created. To the protagonist, Saleem Sinai however this just meant that he would be “hand-cuffed to history” forever. This image of handcuffs is symbolic as hand-cuffs are usually associated with slavery or prison. Taking into account India’s circumstances before this day of independence, one can assume they were slaves to the British. This provides a contrast between Saleem and India as one was handcuffed literally, India. While the other was handcuffed figuratively, Saleem. To further exaggerate this point, Saleem is again seen describing his relationship with India in the line, “my destinies...
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