meta content='kdmahdi' name='author'/> Tech News: Midnight's Children: Elements of Magic Realism

Monday, April 22, 2013

Midnight's Children: Elements of Magic Realism

Magic realism is  an essential feature of 20th century's English novel. The word " magic" and "realism" are controversial. They seem to unable of combining with each other. Realism refers
to the true stories of life which have happened. Magic is something which is related to fantasy and emotion. Magic realism is the combination of myth and reality. The elements which are magical are presented as true facts of life.
In Midnight's Children a lot of historical references are dominated, so using of magic realism is a great technique to make the readers a little bit interesting, because history sometimes becomes boring.
The story is started with the sentence of Saleem Sinai who born at midnight the very moment of India's independence. So, this could be a great hesitation whether he is Indian or British. As he born at the time, his life is interlinked with political, national and religious incidents of his time. The first statement of Saleem Sinai introduces us to social realism and the second is constructed with traditional English formula of fairy tales which signals to us that fantasy is ahead. To get a meaningful introduction, Saleem Sinai needs both models.

Saleem and the state of India were born at the same time 15th August, 1947 at midnight along with one thousands one children. They are presumed to have miraculous power and Saleem Sinai is the most interesting among them who is gaining and losing the ability to connect their mind telepathically. He is the embodiment of magical realism. If he lose a power, gains another. He has got a big and gigantic nose by which he has gained the power of smelling any scent-distinction beyond normal and also capable of smelling the emotions and intentions of others. It is impossible to summarize the fantasy which is so complex and bizarre.

Some of magical elements can be notable. At the age of 15, with the words of his father, Saleem's sinuses are operated on, striping him of his telepathic power, but leaving with an outstanding sense of smelling. When he migrated to Karachi along with his family, where his sister made her as a popular singer known as the "Voice of the Nation". Saleem confesses his love for sister, but refused. Then his family was killed except his sister by a bomb. He hits himself on his head and lost his memory forever. Jamila arranges for Saleem to be conscripted into the Army. Here an important incident takes place where Saleem uses his sense of smell to lead the fellow soldiers away from the heat of the battle from the mystical Sundorban Jungle where he regained his memory with the byte of a snack. This is another element of magic realism which makes the readers laugh. He reconnects with his old friends again. Later,  he involved with the Emergency proclaimed by Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay's cleansing of Jama Masjid slum. The Emergency signals the end of the potency of Midnight Children and so does Saleem Sinai.

In his thirty-first birthday he figures out that his body begins to crack and fall apart. Death is closer to him. Padma, who is his only loving companion serves him as a nurse, often sceptical listener.
In Midnight's Children, Rushdie simply reflects the pictures of reality which he sees during the Pre and post of Indian independence.  The use of magical touch in reality makes the novel different from others. That is why, it has been able to achieve a good position in the English literature. If there was not any magical realism it could be ended up with the tag of common novels.


Anonymous said...

Magic realism is something where unexpected things become true. It is the mingling of fantasy and reality which is done well by Salman Rushdie in Midnight's Children.

Anonymous said...

Great post! Keep it up.