Midnight's Children

by Salman Rushdie

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What is the significance of the title "Midnight's Children" by Salman Rushdie?

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The title "Midnight's Children" in Salman Rushdie's novel signifies the 1,001 children born within the first hour of India's Independence on August 15, 1947. Each child possesses a unique gift, with the intensity of their abilities dependent on their birth time proximity to midnight. The narrative focuses on Saleem, born at the stroke of midnight and gifted with telepathy. Saleem's life events and his connection with other "midnight's children" metaphorically reflect India's identity and fate post-independence.

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The title chosen by Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children, refers to the 1,001 children born within the hour after the stroke of midnight on the day of India’s independence, August 15, 1947, each with a special gift. In particular, two babies are born at the stroke of midnight in the same nursing home—one to a wealthy family and one to a poor family. After the babies are switched at birth, they become enemies. Saleem, now living with the wealthy family, was born with the gift of telepathy. He is aware of the switch, and afraid of losing to Shiva, who is living with the poor family. Their complicated relationship informs not only their lives, but that of the nation as well.

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The title of Salman Rushdie’s novel “Midnight’s Children” refers to a total of "1001" children in the story that are born just at midnight and during first hour after it, on the very day of India’s independence, i.e. 15 August, 1947. All these children have magical/super powers and the kind of powers they are gifted with is dependent on how close to midnight they were born. Saleem Sinai, the focus of the story and one of these 1001 midnight children, realizes that his identity and life events are parallel and even inseparable from the nation’s identity and fate. Saleem is telepathically linked with other midnight’s children, and together with them, he metaphorically represents the hope for nation’s independent, prosperous future.

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