midnight's children thesis

Topics: Indian independence movement, India, Indian National Congress Pages: 34 (10599 words) Published: November 11, 2013
Masaryk University
Faculty of Arts

Department of English
and American Studies
English Language and Literature

Dita Polcarová

Historical and Political Issues of
India as Reflected in Rushdie`s

Midnight`s Children
Bachelor’s Diploma Thesis

Supervisor: PhDr. Lidia Kyzlinková, CSc., M.Litt.

2008

Declaration:
I declare that I have worked on this thesis independently,
using only the primary and secondary sources listed in the bibliography. ……………………………………………..
Dita Polcarová

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Acknowledgement:
On this page I would like to express my sincere thanks to my supervisor PhDr. Lidia Kyzlinková, CSc., M.Litt, for her extremely helpful and valuable advice on my thesis and for her infinite patience with me.

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Table of Contents
1. Introduction…………………………………………………………................6 2. Indian Historical Background & Salman Rushdie…………………………….8 2.1. India in the Past………………………………………………………….. 8 2.1.1. The Black Hole of Calcutta……………………………………….. 8 2.2. The British Rule in India………………………………………………… 9 2.2.1. The Great Mutiny and Its Consequences…………………………. 10 2.3. Struggles for Independence……………………………………………… 11 2.3.1. Mahatma Gandhi………………………………….......................... 11 2.3.2. The Amritsar Massacre…………………………………………… 12 2.3.3. The Independence & The Partition.............………………………. 13 2.4. After Independence………………………………………………………14 2.4.1. India and Indira Gandhi ………………………………………….. 15 2.5. Salman Rushdie & Some Post-Colonial Aspects………………………....16 2.5.1. Controversies and Fatwa………………………………………….. 16 2.5.2. In the Shadow of The Satanic Verses……………………………...17 2.5.3. Post-Colonial Theory & Some Aspects of Post-Colonial Writings. 17 2.5.3.1.

Features of Post-Colonial Literatures……………………... 18

3. Midnight`s Children…………………………………………………………...20 3.1. Fiction and Faction………………………………………………………. 21 3.1.1. Fiction……………………………………………………………...21 3.1.1.1.

Double-Identity…………………………………………… 23

3.1.1.2.

“The Twoness of Things”……………………………….....24

3.1.2. Faction…………………………………………………………….. 25 3.1.2.1.

Historical Events Before Saleem`s Birth…………………..26 4

3.1.2.2.

Saleem`s Actions and His Influence on History of India…. 27

3.2. Religious Issues………………………………………………………….. 29 3.2.1. Rushdie´s Religious Beliefs as Reflected in Midnight`s Children...29 3.2.2. Muslims versus Muslims…………………………………………..30 3.2.3. Hindus versus Hindus…………………………………………….. 31 3.3. The Language……………………………………………………………. 32 3.3.1. English versus english…………………………………………….. 32 3.3.2. Vocabulary………………………………………………………... 33 3.3.3. Compound Nouns and Adjectives…………………………………34 3.3.4. Register…………………………………………………………… 35 4. Conclusion……………………………………………………………………. 37 5. Works Cited …………………………………………………….......................41

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1. Introduction
The aim of this thesis is to provide a brief insight into the historical, cultural and political development of India some time before and some time again after the independence. Nearly two hundred years of the British rule left an indelible trace in both historical and cultural areas, the traces of it remaining in India to the present day. Moreover, the British imperial rule contributed, among others, to the creation of a completely new literary theory and style – post-colonialism. In my thesis I examine some aspects of post-colonial literatures and I compare both the historical and political facts of India with the historical and political issues as they are depicted in the novel – Midnight`s Children (MC) – by Salman Rushdie. I have chosen this text for several reasons. Firstly, it is considered to be a typical post-colonial novel containing all common aspects of post-colonial literatures. Secondly, it is set in 20th-century India and reveals both the historical and political events that occurred as well as the life of ordinary people in India. And finally, Salman Rushdie is considered to be one of the most significant and controversial authors of the 20th-century literature. In my second chapter I...

Cited: Keay, John. India: A History. Harper: London, 2000.
David Scott Kastan. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005. The Oxford Encyclopedia of
British Literature
Lapping, Brian. End of Empire. London: Paladin, 1989.
Oxford: Macmillan Publ. Ltd, 2002.
Oxford Dictionary of Islam. John L. Esposito, ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2003. Oxford
Reference Online
Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Chris Baldick. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Oxford
Reference Online
Rushdie, Salman. Midnight`s Children. 25th Anniversary ed. London: Vintage, 2006.
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