How does Aadam Aziz’s “origin story” compare to Saleem’s prophesy of “knees and a nose, a nose and knees”?
When Saleem is telling Aadam’s story, there is a moment when Aadam is kneeling on his prayer mat. As he leans forward, he knocks his nose against the ground. This moment is that coincides with the motif of nose and knees, a crucial part of the prophesy and a legacy of Saleem’s life.
What is "the disease of optimism"?
The disease of optimism is Saleem’s way of describing why people make decisions that seem negligent in light of how bleak things seem. He sees and understands how difficult the world is. However, when people are touched by the disease of optimism, they end up making choices that go against their better nature in the hopes that it will help make the future better.
What was the significance of Amina's attempt to fall in love with Ahmed?
Amina felt like she couldn’t love Ahmed, so she tried to fall in love with him piece by piece. This mirrors how her father Aadam fell in love with Naseem. Aadam saw Naseem piece by piece through a perforated hole in a white sheet, so Amina decided to try to focus on one aspect of Ahmed and force herself to love that aspect before moving on to another.
How does Methwold represent Western imperialism?
Methwold represents Western imperialism because he forces his Indian tenants to adopt Western ways of life. When he rents the houses in his villa, he forces the tenants to keep all the Western furnishings. He also makes them attend nightly cocktail hours. Slowly over time, the Indians begin to adopt these items and habits as their own.
What is the significance of saffron and green right before Saleem’s birth?
Saffron and green are the two official colors of India’s flag. At Saleem’s birth as well as India’s moment of independence, both colors represent the creation of new life. Green is typically associated with birth and new beginnings. In Midnight’s Children, Rushdie puts a twist on the color symbolism by including saffron with green to be a direct correlation with India.
In what ways was Mary Saleem’s mother?
Though Mary isn’t related to Saleem, in a way she created Saleem and made him who he was. Before the switch, he was born to a poor family. Mary switched Saleem and Shiva at birth, thus creating and shaping Saleem’s future.
In what ways is Saleem similar to India?
Besides their coinciding birth, Saleem physically resembles India. His long, protruding nose resembles the jutting peninsula of India. Saleem also goes through periods of identity crises that are similar to India’s own search for identity.
In what way does the Midnight Children's Conference represent India?
Saleem insists throughout the novel that he alone represents India. However, the Midnight Children's Conference has a more broad spectrum of people from all backgrounds who exemplify all classes and races of India. There are rich children and poor children, Hindus and Muslims, boys and girls, and even one gender-fluid child. Their stories and experiences are all an important part of India's history because they and their experiences are unique to themselves.
How does Rushdie subvert the story of Cyrano De Bergerac?
Cyrano De Bergerac, a man with a large nose, tried to use a more attractive man to win the affections of a woman. Saleem tries this once by sending Sonny to get Evelyn to love him. This doesn’t work, though, so when Mutasim asks him to deliver a note to Jamila Singer, he flips this story on its head and uses Mutasim’s own words to try and win over his sister.
What is the significance of Saleem burying his childhood items in the earth?
Saleem buries his childhood items in the ground at Methwold Estate because he wants to have ties that lead back to his home. His family is moving to Pakistan, a country that he is not a part of. He wants to keep a part of himself in India so it will always, in some way, remain his home.