Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie: An Overview

Topics: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses Pages: 5 (1719 words) Published: November 19, 2007
Book Report
Midnight's Children

Ashraf Zayed
Midnight's Children

Salman Rushdie's, "Midnight's Children" begins with the birth of Saleem Sinai at Midnight on August 15, 1947. Interestingly enough it was the exact date of when India first gained its Independence. The Novel proceeds to explain the birth of Saleem Sinai. Saleem's Grandfather, Aadam Aziz falls in love with Naseem. When they get married they bear five children. Nadir Khan, who is forced to live in Dr. Aziz's cellar, marries his daughter Mumtez. After two years a marriage of no intercourse falls apart. Nadir leaves a note in the cellar pronouncing his divorce to Mumtaz. She later marries Ahmed Sinai and changes her name to Amina Sinai. Shortly afterwards Amina is pregnant.

The story then becomes complicated because Mary Pereira, who is a mid-wife, switches Ahmed and Amina with Vanita and Wee Willie Winkie's baby. Our narrator Saleem is therefore raised into the Sinai's home while Shiva, the baby of Ahmed and Amina is raised in a much poorer home. This act guaranteed Vanita's son a life of comfort. Shortly afterwards Saleem's mother, Amina gives birth to Saleem's baby sister The Brass Monkey.

Saleem begins to hide in closets because he feels like the outside world overwhelms him. One day, when he was hiding he hears his mother on the phone and call out Nadir Khan's name. It became evident that Amina still had feelings for Nadir Khan. Shortly afterwards Saleem learns of his newfound powers created from the lodged cord of his pajamas in his nose.

Saleem secretly sneaks into his mother's car when she goes on her urgent shopping trip. He confirms that she is indeed having an affair when he sees her meeting with Nadir Khan. Saleem is treated at the hospital because he lost a middle finger. It is there where the doctor reveals Saleem's past. The doctor notes that Saleem shares neither Amina's nor Ahmed's blood type. Amina finally stops her affair when she hears about a jealous husband who, in a fit of rage, murdered his wife and her lover.

Mary Pareira, finally reveals the secret of how she switched the babies at birth. The marriage of Amina and Ahmed takes a blow and gets so bad that Amina leaves Ahmed and takes the kids to Pakistan. The Brass Monkey earns a new nickname, Jamila Singer, because of her newfound singing ability. The Family returns back to India when they get news that Ahmed has heart problems. Amina and Ahmed rekindle their love for one another. Amina convinces her husband to move to Pakistan. He agrees to go but before they trick Saleem into getting a surgery to clear his nostrils. After the surgery, Saleem is no longer able to read people's mind. When they moved to Pakistan a war erupted and tragedy struck the Sanai family. A bomb killed Amina, her unborn child, her sister, and Ahmed. Saleem decides to join the Pakistani Army. Saleem suffers from memory loss but recovers from it when he is bitten by a poisonous snake in the jungle. Strangely enough Saleem recovers his memory but can't remember his first name. Saleem then meets with Parvati-the-Witch who uses her magic to cure Saleem so that he could remember his name. She also uses her magic to allow Saleem to return to India in a basket.

Parvati-the-Witch then strangely summons Shiva who gets her pregnant so she could convince Saleem to marry her. A short time and a marriage later Aadam Sinai is born on midnight. Aadam is born with huge ears and does not speak a single word. The end of the book concludes with Saleem expecting to marry Padma. Saleem admits that he has lied about how Shiva died. He in fact was shot although not through the heart, by one of his lovers. At the end of the day Aadam says the word "Abracadabra" Saleem is proud of his son and although worried about the world he's leaving behind for his son, senses that he will be just fine. He notes that when his son sleeps his eyeballs don't move and he is pleased to discover that because he knows that he...
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