The Role of Women in Midnight’s Children
How are women characters depicted in the novel?
What important traits do they share and how do they manage to overcome the limitations of their social position?
The role that women play in India is an important role however, a submissive one. Women in India live in a patriarchal society, where the man dominates the household. The women, not all, do their husband’s biddings without thought or complaint (as it appears in public). However, the women in Salman Rushdie’s book Midnight’s Children fulfill the roles expected for them to fulfill as Indian women, yet they fulfill more. The representation of women in Midnight’s Children does not represent how most women, living in India, really are.
The women in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children can be described as stronger and more grounded than the typical Indian woman. The women in Midnight’s Children have no problem fulfilling the roles that are traditionally set aside for the men to fulfill. The very first instance where I saw an Indian woman stepping up to fulfill her husband’s role as the provider for the family was on page twenty-five, when Doctor Aziz’s father died and his mother took over the jewelry business. “In 1918, Doctor Aziz’s father, deprived of his birds, died in his sleep; and at once his mother, who had been able to sell the gemstone business thanks to the success of Aziz’s practice, and who now saw her husband’s death as a merciful release for her from a life filled with responsibilities…”(Rushdie 25). The fact that Aziz’s mother not only took over her late husband’s business, but the fact that she sold the business does not represent the typical woman living in India. I say this because, to my knowledge, if the male of the household dies, and leaves a business behind, the ownership of the business passes to one of his sons, and bypasses any women in the family. This is a very interesting and important moment, because when I was reading this passage,...
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