Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Saleem=India

Throughout the entirety of Midnight's Children, Salem is meant to represent India. Upon the language march, there is definitely a parallel between this situation and Saleem. Saleem has to hear the many different voices in his head and he has no choice about that. Just as he must hear these many voices in his head, the Indian government and India in general must hear the many languages of the protestors in this march. This is yet another way that Saleem represents India as a whole. The government would probably rather not hear the protesting voices but they have to. Just as Saleem has no choice but to hear the voices of others and of all of the midnight's children who also represent India.

4 comments:

Jack Zheng said...

That's an interesting point. Rushdie could be making a comment about the Indian government through the way that Saleem quickly stops caring about the voices in languages that he can't understand. But in the protest, the voices are too loud to ignore and Saleem is immediately overwhelmed.

Madison Cummings said...

Also, to bring it back to a point that we have made a few times in class, the several different voices and languages align with the idea that there are several versions of history, as each person can experience it differently. This idea really intrigues me. It is interesting to think about the fact that history is for the most part very relative, as there are endless ways certain situations can be told.

Cheyenne Dwyer said...

I think it's so interesting that Saleem actively points out throughout the novel how he is a parallel to India. Usually those kinds of symbols are less fourth-wall breaking and something much more subtle that the English teacher points out in class and you're like ohhhh yeah that makes sense... But here Saleem explicitly points out how he represents India and even has a big paragraph explaining which examples are active or passive or metaphorical or whatever. He is extremely blatant about it which I find weird, like who grows up and their like omg look at me I'm a symbol for India... ?

madison kahn said...

I think it's also important to note that it takes Saleem a while to differentiate between all the voices in his head. He does not immediately recognize the midnight children, but he's eventually able to signal them out when they say "I." I think that the voices in Saleem's head can represent two things. One- the overpopulation of India. Because India has so many people, I'm sure it can often be very chaotic and crowded. All the voices in Saleem's head definitely show this. Secondly, as we have talked about, there is a lot of diversity across India, including that of language, class, religion, and even race. The Mumbo-jumbo going on in Saleem's head kind of parallels what's going on in India. There are many different types of people trying to make their voices heard.