How does Salman Rushdie reflect magical realism in his book Midnight’s Children?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one can see magical realism best displayed in Rushdie's protagonist.  Saleem's unique ability of being able to possess a strong sense of smell helps to allow the idea of magical realism to present itself.  When Rushdie brings out the magical realism through Saleem, it can also be seen through Saleem's own narration.  The magical realism present can be understood as a sense of errata, or mistakes in narration.  It helps to evoke Rushdie's idea that consciousness is not totalizing, not something that is perfectly unified and thoroughly coherent.  The magical realism that is brought out through Saleem is a way to comprehend the idea that there is a certain amount of fragmentation within human consciousness.  Contrary to politicians and leaders who profess to present a thoroughly unified vision of reality, Rushdie's, and Saleem's, the magical realism present helps to challenge and question authority.

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