Midnight's Children Literary Analysis

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Within narratives authors incorporate different life events and experiences, which are techniques often used to develop character and plot, and make the text more accessible to the reader. However, authors choose to deal with and present these difficult life events using different methods. Khaled Hosseini’s ‘The Kite Runner’ and Salman Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children both depict somewhat similar difficult life events in that they have similar settings, involve both domestic and political conflict, are told by fairly similar narrators. Despite this, both authors employ different methods to deal with these events. Lye Kit Ying says, “Magic realist novels and stories have typically a strong narrative drive, in which the recognizably realistic …show more content…
This is particularly influenced by Rushdie’s decision to allow his fictional characters power over historical fact, but also Rushdie’s own experiences “My [Rushdie’s] family was cut in half by it [the partition]. Midnight, August 13-14 1947.”(IV) Salman Rushdie presents the events of the novel to the reader through the filter of magical realism, foreshadowing, and irony. One purpose of magical realism within literature, and particularly Salman Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children’ is the ability it has to alter the effect or appearance of real-life events or otherwise disturbing themes for the reader. “The traumatic imagination,” according to Eugene Avra, is “an empathy-driven consciousness the enable authors and readers to act out and/or work through trauma by means of magical realist images,’ (V) and I believe Rushdie uses this approach to take the reader on a theraputic journey through the history of India. One example of this takes place in the early chapters of the novel, when the Amritsar Massacre takes place, in which Rushdie draws attention away from the massacre to the ‘magical’ powers of Aadam Aziz’s nose, “as the fifty-one men march down the alleyway a tickle replaces the itch in my …show more content…
While it is possible for a reader to interpret ‘The Kite Runner’ individually in a similar way to Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children’ , Hosseini employs a heavy amount of foreshadowing. This technique influences the reader's perception of the story being told and ‘ties up’ the ending of the text in almost an exact mirror of its beginning. “Hosseini’s use of foreshadowing connects him to the genre of magical realism. Even though there are no supernatural events in the novel, there is an underlying sense that every action has significance and must come full circle.” (VII) While this isn’t strictly an element of magical realism, and no where near the magnitude used by Rushdie, the idea that everything must come ‘full circle’ is reassuring for the reader, nullifying many of the tense and dramatic scenes later in the novel as it becomes evident to the reader that nearly all the events presented by Hosseini will be resolved in some manner. The use of foreshadowing does not completely rule out any alternate interpretations of the text but it is unlikely. Some critics have complained “that The Kite Runner is overly dependent upon coincidence.” and as a particularly realist novel, this seems uncharacteristic. While coincidence and foreshadowing provide reassurance for the reader it can cause predictability,

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