Midnight's Children

by Salman Rushdie

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What are the aspects of myth and history in Rushdie's Midnight's Children? He also mentions in the introduction of the novel that he took inspiration from the oral tradition of India. What are the specific aspects of folklore in the novel?

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Rushdie grounds the novel in the moment of midnight at the moment of India's independence. Yet he takes this historical, factual moment and immediately plunges it into the mythic—the protagonist is tied to hundreds of other children of midnight who all have various powers. Saleem's fate is closely tied to that of his nation, both being born at the same moment. The novel alludes to many traditional Indian myths and folklore, while also tying them to historical events and places. Rushdie is, in a sense, creating a new set of myths with this novel and its fantastical characters, all tied together by history. It is a great example of magical realism, along with novels like One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.

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