History Literature / MidnightsChildren

20th Jun '16 2:21:18 PM MarkLungo
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* FilmOfTheBook: It was made in 2012, with Rushdie himself co-writing the screenplay.
20th Jun '16 2:18:32 PM MarkLungo
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/midnights_children.jpg]]



-->-- ''Jawaharlal Nehru to Saleem Sinai''

''Midnight's Children'' is a 1981 novel by Creator/SalmanRushdie, and is one of the two works for which he is best known (the other being ''Literature/TheSatanicVerses'', which is largely well-known for being the one that got him some very serious death threats). As well as winning the Booker Prize in the year it was released, it has twice won the Booker of Bookers, meaning that it was voted the best novel ever to have won. It is considered a major work in the MagicalRealism genre, as well as of postcolonial literature and, of course, of Indian literature; Rushdie's prose style is quite a departure from previous Indian twentieth-century literature, often becoming very vernacular and creating a very vivid sense of the culture and atmosphere of India.

The novel is structured as the hastily-written and occasionally verging-on-incoherent autobiography of Saleem Sinai, born [[note]]sort of[[/note]] into a wealthy Indian Muslim family at precisely midnight on 15th August 1947[[note]]the exact point in time at which India became independent from the British Empire[[/note]]. This results in Saleem and 1,000 other children born between midnight and one a.m. developing odd supernatural powers, with those born closest to midnight being the most powerful. The two children born at midnight exactly have the strongest powers of all: Saleem, whose telepathy manifests at the age of nine and allows him initially to read everyone's thoughts and later to telepathically connect the five hundred and eighty-one surviving midnight's children; and Shiva, whose powers are never described in great detail but whose name - the destroyer - he lives up to.

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-->-- ''Jawaharlal Nehru '''''Jawaharlal Nehru''' to Saleem Sinai''

''Midnight's Children'' is a 1981 novel by Creator/SalmanRushdie, and is one of the two works for which he is best known (the other being ''Literature/TheSatanicVerses'', which is largely well-known for being the one that got him some very serious death threats). As well as winning the Booker Prize in the year it was released, it has twice won the Booker of Bookers, meaning that it was voted the best novel ever to have won. It is considered a major work in the MagicalRealism genre, as well as of postcolonial literature and, of course, of Indian literature; Rushdie's prose style is quite a departure from previous Indian twentieth-century literature, often becoming very vernacular and creating a very vivid sense of the culture and atmosphere of India.

UsefulNotes/{{India}}.

The novel is structured as the hastily-written and occasionally verging-on-incoherent autobiography of Saleem Sinai, born [[note]]sort of[[/note]] into a wealthy Indian Muslim [[UsefulNotes/{{Islam}} Muslim]] family at precisely midnight on 15th August 1947[[note]]the exact point in time at which India became independent from the British Empire[[/note]].UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire[[/note]]. This results in Saleem and 1,000 other children born between midnight and one a.m. developing odd supernatural powers, with those born closest to midnight being the most powerful. The two children born at midnight exactly have the strongest powers of all: Saleem, whose telepathy manifests at the age of nine and allows him initially to read everyone's thoughts and later to telepathically connect the five hundred and eighty-one surviving midnight's children; and Shiva, whose powers are never described in great detail but whose name - the destroyer - he lives up to.



* AGodAmI: Though we never hear the Widow's own stance on it, the Widow's Hand claims this of her. Saleem believes this delusion to be the reason why she goes to such lengths to neutralize her political rivals [[spoiler:and the midnight's children]] -- she refuses to tolerate any other potential "gods" that could undermine her superiority.



* BittersweetEnding: WordOfGod argues that the ending is this. Readers usually see it as a DownerEnding. [[spoiler:The children are all castrated during the Emergency, which also removes their powers. Saleem becomes a vagabond after that. He finds a new girlfriend in Padma and work at her Chutney factory and seems to have settled in despite his bitterness. On the other hand, all the Midnight's Children are either dead, or in hiding. Saleem's EvilTwin Shiva has become a KarmaHoudini and 80s India and Bombay generally seems pretty hollow. Saleem's only hope is in his son Aadam, who he believes is part of another generation of magical children who can accomplish what he could not.]]
--> ''"Yes they will trample me underfoot, the numbers marching one, two, three, four hundred million five hundred six, reducing me to specks of voiceless dust, just as all in goodtime, they will trample my son who is not my son and his son will not be his and his who will not be his, until the thousand and first generation, until a thoursand and one midnights have bestowed their terrible gifts and a thousand and one children have died, because it's the privilege and the curse of midnights children to be both masters and victims of their times, to forsake privacy and be sucked in the annihilating whirlpool of the multitudes, and to be unable to live and die in peace."''

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* BittersweetEnding: WordOfGod argues that the ending is this. Readers usually see it as a DownerEnding. [[spoiler:The children are all castrated during the Emergency, which also removes their powers. Saleem becomes a vagabond after that. He finds a new girlfriend in Padma and work at her Chutney factory and seems to have settled in despite his bitterness. On the other hand, all the Midnight's Children are either dead, or in hiding. Saleem's EvilTwin Shiva has become a KarmaHoudini and 80s India and Bombay [[UseflNotes/{{Mumbai}} Bombay]] generally seems pretty hollow. Saleem's only hope is in his son Aadam, who he believes is part of another generation of magical children who can accomplish what he could not.]]
--> ''"Yes they will trample me underfoot, the numbers marching one, two, three, four hundred million five hundred six, reducing me to specks of voiceless dust, just as all in goodtime, good time, they will trample my son who is not my son and his son will not be his and his who will not be his, until the thousand and first generation, until a thoursand thousand and one midnights have bestowed their terrible gifts and a thousand and one children have died, because it's the privilege and the curse of midnights midnight's children to be both masters and victims of their times, to forsake privacy and be sucked in the annihilating whirlpool of the multitudes, and to be unable to live and die in peace."''


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* AGodAmI: Though we never hear the Widow's own stance on it, the Widow's Hand claims this of her. Saleem believes this delusion to be the reason why she goes to such lengths to neutralize her political rivals [[spoiler:and the midnight's children]] -- she refuses to tolerate any other potential "gods" that could undermine her superiority.
10th Feb '16 8:15:50 PM otakusapien
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* TheBlank: One of the titular children has this power, though they do have eyes of a sort and a mouth-like hole.

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* TheBlank: One of the titular children has this power, appearance during the psychic conferences due to living in the woods and never properly seeing their own face, though they do have eyes of a sort and a mouth-like hole.
4th Aug '15 10:58:03 AM JulianLapostat
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* ArcNumber: 1001. Most obviously, it's the number of the midnight's children, but it occurs in other contexts as well, mostly in Saleem's musings.

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* ArcNumber: 1001.[[Literature/ArabianNights 1001]]. Most obviously, it's the number of the midnight's children, but it occurs in other contexts as well, mostly in Saleem's musings.


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--> ''"Yes they will trample me underfoot, the numbers marching one, two, three, four hundred million five hundred six, reducing me to specks of voiceless dust, just as all in goodtime, they will trample my son who is not my son and his son will not be his and his who will not be his, until the thousand and first generation, until a thoursand and one midnights have bestowed their terrible gifts and a thousand and one children have died, because it's the privilege and the curse of midnights children to be both masters and victims of their times, to forsake privacy and be sucked in the annihilating whirlpool of the multitudes, and to be unable to live and die in peace."''
1st Aug '15 6:46:04 AM FoolsEditAccount
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** Mustapha's children are so abused into silence and irrelevance that Saleem can't remember any of their features. It's implied that ChainOfHarm might be at play here, as Mustapha is enraged at constantly being passed over for promotion.

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** Mustapha's children are so abused into silence and irrelevance that Saleem can't remember any of their features. It's implied that ChainOfHarm TheChainOfHarm might be at play here, as Mustapha is enraged at constantly being passed over for promotion.



* AlwaysSecondBest: Saleem's uncle Mustapha becomes a civil servant, but is constantly passed over for promotion, getting stuck in second-rate positions for his entire life. This infuriates him, causing him to [[AbsuiveParents take it out on his children]]. Even in the scope of his genealogy hobby, he discovers that [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter someone's better at it than him]].

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* AlwaysSecondBest: Saleem's uncle Mustapha becomes a civil servant, but is constantly passed over for promotion, getting stuck in second-rate positions for his entire life. This infuriates him, causing him to [[AbsuiveParents [[AbusiveParents take it out on his children]]. Even in the scope of his genealogy hobby, he discovers that [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter someone's better at it than him]].



** Saleem lampshades his tendency to do this at the very end:
--->Midnight, or thereabouts. A man carrying a folded (and intact) black umbrella walks towards my window from the direction of the railway tracks, stops, squats, shits. Then sees me silhouetted against light and, instead of taking offence at my voyeurism, calls: 'Watch this!' and proceeds to extrude the longest turd I have ever seen. 'Fifteen inches!' he calls, 'How long can you make yours?' Once, when I was more energetic, I would have wanted to tell his life-story; the hour, and his possession of an umbrella, would have been all the connections I needed to begin the process of weaving him into my life, and I have no doubt that I'd have finished by proving his indispensability to anyone who wishes to understand my life and benighted times; but now I'm disconnected, unplugged, with only epitaphs left to write. So, waving at the champion defecator, I call back: 'Seven on a good day,' and forget him.



** "Commander Sabarmati's Baton". Saleem sets off a chain of events that results in all his neighbors either dying or moving out; effectively, it is the end of the world of his childhood.

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** "Commander Sabarmati's Baton". Saleem sets off a chain of events that results in all his neighbors either dying or moving out; effectively, it is the out.
--->Nussie-the-duck said, as she left, 'I told you so, Amina sister--the end! The
end of the world!' This time she was right and wrong; after August 1958, the world continued to spin; but the world of his childhood.my childhood had, indeed, come to an end.



** "How Saleem Achieved Purity", the finale of book two. [[spoiler:Saleem's entire family (excluding his sister and one distant uncle) is killed in a single night.]]

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** "How Saleem Achieved Purity", the finale of book two. [[spoiler:Saleem's entire family (excluding his sister and one distant faraway uncle) is killed in a single night.]]




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* YourDaysAreNumbered: Saleem is dying of a mysterious illness, which is what pushes him to write his autobiography with such fervor. He is certain that he will die on the coming Independence Day. [[spoiler:He writes what he thinks his death will be like in the final scene, but we never see it ourselves.]]
26th Jul '15 12:42:35 PM FoolsEditAccount
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* AbusiveParents:
** Saleem's father starts off kind, but gradually becomes more distant, eventually disowning him entirely after [[spoiler:the SwitchedAtBirth reveal]]. [[SubvertedTrope He eventually comes around, though.]]
** Saleem's cousin Zafar is frequently beaten and harangued by his father for his [[UrineTrouble enuresis]], to the point that Saleem suspects TheDogBitesBack as a motive when Zafar decides to become a SelfMadeOrphan.
** Mustapha's children are so abused into silence and irrelevance that Saleem can't remember any of their features. It's implied that ChainOfHarm might be at play here, as Mustapha is enraged at constantly being passed over for promotion.



* AlwaysSecondBest: Saleem's uncle Mustapha becomes a civil servant, but is constantly passed over for promotion, getting stuck in second-rate positions for his entire life. This infuriates him, causing him to [[AbsuiveParents take it out on his children]]. Even in the scope of his genealogy hobby, he discovers that [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter someone's better at it than him]].



* BiggerBad: The Widow. Saleem never confronts her directly, but does run afoul of her subordinates.



* ChildHater: Downplayed with Doctor Narlikar, who just prefers to avoid them and has no children of his own. Oddly enough, he works as a gynecologist despite this.



* GenerationXerox: Discussed, and a major theme of the book. Saleem believes that he is doomed to inherit all of his parents' mistakes, and points to many instances in his life that echo the lives of his ancestors, metaphorically if not literally.
* GreaterScopeVillain: The Widow. Saleem never confronts her directly, but does run afoul of her subordinates.



* HopeSpot: [[spoiler:After the midnight's children are gathered in the Widows' Hostel, Saleem believes that they can fight back now that they're finally all together. He encourages them to endure the torture and strike back once the Widow thinks they're finished... but then that torture turns out to remove their powers.]] Lampshaded by Saleem, who says that [[spoiler:in addition to vasectomies and hysterectomies, the sterilization crew performed "sperectomies" -- the removal of hope]].

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* HopeSpot: HesJustHiding: InUniverse example. After she turns against Pakistan's government, Saleem's sister is arrested and never seen again. However, Saleem has a dream about her escaping and hiding among a group of nuns, and desperately clings to this happier possibility. Her ultimate fate is left ambiguous.
* HopeSpot:
** [[spoiler:After Ahmed's heart attack, Amina returns to care for him, and, after years of a tumultuous family life, they finally learn to love each other and become HappilyMarried. Amina even becomes pregnant with a third child. Then Ahmed has a stroke that reduces him to a near-vegetative state, and [[MyBiologicalClockIsTicking Amina starts losing her mind over fears that her 42-year-old body is too old to birth a healthy child]]. Then a bomb kills them both.]]
**
[[spoiler:After the midnight's children are gathered in the Widows' Hostel, Saleem believes that they can fight back now that they're finally all together. He encourages them to endure the torture and strike back once the Widow thinks they're finished... but then that torture turns out to remove their powers.]] Lampshaded by Saleem, who says that [[spoiler:in addition to vasectomies and hysterectomies, the sterilization crew performed "sperectomies" -- the removal of hope]].hope]].
** After the traumatic events of the Widow's Hostel, Saleem hears the outcome of the historic 1977 election, where Indira Gandhi is defeated and loses her iron grip on the country. But when we return to the present day, Saleem dejectedly notes that she is experiencing a political second wind, and stands poised to become prime minister again. (In RealLife, this did happen in 1980.)



* ItsAllMyFault: Due to his belief that his life is metaphorically linked to the nation's Saleem, blames himself for just about everything.

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* ItsAllMyFault: Due to his belief that his life is metaphorically linked to the nation's Saleem, nation's, Saleem blames himself for just about everything.everything.
* KarmaHoudini: DoubleSubverted. [[spoiler:Shiva sells out the midnight's children to the Widow, and personally captures Saleem himself. He's also implied to have murdered an awful lot of people. [[RewardedAsATraitorDeserves He does get castrated along with the other midnight's children]], but otherwise gets off scot-free...until one of his mistresses returns to shoot him through the heart. [[UnreliableNarrator Except not]]; less than two pages later Saleem reveals that Shiva is still at large, and he's so terrified that Shiva will find him that he made up the story for peace of mind.]] GreaterScopeVillain Indira Gandhi also returns to power after a HopeSpot where she loses the 1977 election. (In RealLife, she was later assassinated, but the book was published three years before that event took place.)



* OnlyChildSyndrome: Very few people outside of the Aziz family have any relatives to speak of. This was likely a necessity to keep the LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters under control; if Saleem's father's family was as complex as his mother's, the book would probably have to be twice as long.



** Gender-flipped with Commander Sabarmati. When he learns his wife is cheating on him, he tries to kill them both. His wife survives, but her lover does not.

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** Gender-flipped with Commander Sabarmati. When he learns his wife is cheating on him, him with Homi Catrack, he tries to kill them both. His wife survives, but her lover does not.
26th Jul '15 11:13:22 AM FoolsEditAccount
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* AGodAmI: Though we never hear the Widow's own stance on it, the Widow's Hand claims this of her. Saleem believes this delusion to be the reason why she goes to such lengths to neutralize her political rivals [[spoiler:and the midnight's children]] -- she refuses to tolerate any other potential "gods" that could undermine her superiority.


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* BiggerBad: The Widow. Saleem never confronts her directly, but does run afoul of her subordinates.


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* CartwrightCurse: Saleem believes he has this; [[spoiler:everyone directly connected to his family, even through something as minor as a betrothal, dies by the story's end. When Padma makes her marriage offer, he fears that she will suffer this fate as well, but acquiesces. We never see what comes of it.]]
24th Jul '15 7:56:15 AM FoolsEditAccount
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* NightmareSequence: Midway through the book, Saleem has a nightmare of his time in the Widows' Hostel, with the Widow depicted as a grotesque, green-and-black monster who tears children in half. The narration for the scene is suitably confusing and chaotic, just like a real dream.

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* NightmareSequence: Midway through AwfulWeddedLife:
** Aadam and Naseem Aziz. He's a secular, foreign-educated progressivist, while she's a deeply religious traditionalist. They butt heads constantly over this, and Naseem once tries to ''starve Aadam to death'' when he throws
the book, children's religious tutor out on his ear. Aadam eventually dies before her, and she doesn't seem to care one whit.
** Amina and Ahmed Sinai. After
Saleem has a nightmare is born, Amina devotes most of his time in her attentions to their son, [[ItsAllAboutMe which infuriates the Widows' Hostel, attention-hogging Ahmed]]. Alcoholism and financial hardship drive them even further apart. After [[spoiler:Mary confesses that Saleem is not their biological son]], they break off and Amina moves in with the Widow depicted as her family. In a grotesque, green-and-black monster who tears children in half. The narration for the scene is suitably confusing and chaotic, just like subversion, she later returns to nurse him back to health after a real dream.heart attack, at which point they finally become HappilyMarried.



* FridgeLogic: [[DiscussedTrope Saleem briefly muses on this as applied to his own story]] when he's collating everything at the very end, wondering if people will pick apart inconsistencies such as Saleem having to awaken his midnight power when none of the other children did.

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* FridgeLogic: [[DiscussedTrope Saleem briefly muses on this as applied to his own story]] when he's collating everything at the very end, wondering if people will pick apart inconsistencies such as Saleem having to awaken his midnight power when none of the other children did. [[invoked]]


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* NayTheist: Aadam becomes this after he mistakes Joseph D'Costa's ghost for {{God}}, as he blames God for the bad events in his life. He spends the rest of his life haranguing priests and ranting outside of mosques.
* NightmareSequence: Midway through the book, Saleem has a nightmare of his time in the Widows' Hostel, with the Widow depicted as a grotesque, green-and-black monster who tears children in half. The narration for the scene is suitably confusing and chaotic, just like a real dream.


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* PositiveDiscrimination: Averted. Though there are many women in the book, they're just as varied and flawed as the men. [[TheNarrator Saleem]] himself scoffs at the notion that WomenAreWiser.
24th Jul '15 7:38:33 AM FoolsEditAccount
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* ArcNumber: 1001. Most obviously, it's the number of the midnight's children, but it occurs in other contexts as well, mostly in Saleem's musings.



** Saleem's self-described "modes of connection" with history, after the midpoint chapter where he introduces them.

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** Saleem's self-described "modes [[AC:FULL-TILT!]]
** "Knees and a nose, a nose and knees..."
** The blue
of connection" with history, after the midpoint chapter where he introduces them.Kashmiri sky.
** "What can't be cured must be endured."
* {{Asexuality}}: Doctor Narlikar, possibly. He has no children of his own and is downright ''ecstatic'' when Ahmed confides that he's lost his sex drive.



* NightmareSequence: Midway through the book, Saleem has a nightmare of his time in the Widows' Hostel, with the Widow depicted as a grotesque, green-and-black monster who tears children in half. The narration for the scene is suitably confusing and chaotic, just like a real dream.



* BittersweetEnding: WordOfGod argues that the ending is this. Readers usually see it as a DownerEnding. [[spoiler:Saleem ends up being castrated during the Emergency and becomes a vagabond after that. He finds a new girlfriend in Padma and work at her Chutney factory and seems to have settled in despite his bitterness. On the other hand, all the Midnight's Children are either dead, or in hiding. Saleem's EvilTwin Shiv has become a KarmaHoudini and 80s India and Bombay generally seems pretty hollow]].

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* BittersweetEnding: WordOfGod argues that the ending is this. Readers usually see it as a DownerEnding. [[spoiler:Saleem ends up being [[spoiler:The children are all castrated during the Emergency and Emergency, which also removes their powers. Saleem becomes a vagabond after that. He finds a new girlfriend in Padma and work at her Chutney factory and seems to have settled in despite his bitterness. On the other hand, all the Midnight's Children are either dead, or in hiding. Saleem's EvilTwin Shiv Shiva has become a KarmaHoudini and 80s India and Bombay generally seems pretty hollow]].hollow. Saleem's only hope is in his son Aadam, who he believes is part of another generation of magical children who can accomplish what he could not.]]



* CassandraTruth: One of the midnight children can TimeTravel. They warn of impending doom, but nobody believes them, and they eventually leave the conference out of frustration.
* ChekhovsGunman:
** Nadir Khan may be an inversion. He has a fairly important role as Amina's first husband before disappearing from the story. He shows up a fair bit later as Qasim the Red, whom Amina is [[YourCheatingHeart seeing secretly]]. However, his only contribution is as a living plot device, by motivating Saleem to get them to break up.
** Saleem's uncle Mustapha is so irrelevant for most of the story that Saleem barely even describes him or his children. However, towards the end of the book, [[spoiler:he briefly gives Saleem shelter after the rest of the family is killed. It's also implied that he helped the Widow track down the midnight children]].
** When she's initially introduced, Parvati-the-witch is merely Saleem's most vocal supporter during the Midnight's Children Conference, [[SubvertedTrope but Saleem makes no attempt to hide her later importance]]. Towards the end of the story, she encounters him in the flesh at Bangladesh, and saves his life by smuggling him back into India.
** Mary Pereira. [[spoiler:She runs away after her confession to the Sinais, and Saleem says he doesn't know what happened to her after that, implying she's gone from the story for good. At the very end she's revealed to be the manager of the pickle factory where Saleem works in the present day, who took him under her wing after all his other friends and family were gone.]]



* ContrivedCoincidence: A few. Saleem often becomes introspective when they occur, examining all the events that led up to them and wondering if there might be greater purpose to it after all.

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* ContrivedCoincidence: A few.lot. Saleem often becomes introspective when they occur, examining all the events that led up to them and wondering if there might be greater purpose to it after all. He also believes that his life is a metaphorical reflection of India's history, such that the events in his life can affect India even though they appear unconnected and vice versa.



* {{Doorstopper}}: 650 pages. It is a slow read.

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* {{Doorstopper}}: 650 ~600 pages. It is a slow read.



* DrivenToSuicide: Saleem's uncle Hanif jumps off a building after Homi Catrack -- his sole source of income -- is murdered. Saleem blames himself, as he initiated the chain of events that led to Homi's murder.

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* DrivenToSuicide: DrivenToSuicide:
** Aadam's colleague Ilse Lubin drowns herself in the Kashmiri lake after her husband dies.
**
Saleem's uncle Hanif jumps off a building after Homi Catrack -- his sole source of income -- is murdered. Saleem blames himself, as he initiated the chain of events that led to Homi's murder.



* {{Foreshadowing}}: Taken UpToEleven, possibly even to the point of parody. Though the narrative is mostly linear, Saleem acts like a literature student performing a deep reading of a work, and excitedly references future events whenever he notices something significant. It may even overlap with DoomedByCanon, as Saleem will sometimes spoil future events outright (particularly the deaths of certain characters).

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* ForegoneConclusion: The moment the resident time-traveler says "they will end us [the midnight's children] before we begin" and [[CassandraTruth nobody listens]], you know you're in for a DownerEnding.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Taken UpToEleven, possibly even to the point of parody. Though the narrative is mostly linear, Saleem acts like a literature student performing a deep reading of a work, and excitedly references future events whenever he notices something significant. It may even overlap with DoomedByCanon, as Saleem will sometimes spoil future events outright (particularly the deaths of certain characters). But in particular, [[spoiler:the negation of Saleem's {{Telepathy}} after his sinus operation foreshadows that surgical operations can remove the midnight powers, which occurs when the Widow castrates all of them at the end of the story]].



* GenderBender: One of the titular children can do this by immersing themselves in water.

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* FridgeLogic: [[DiscussedTrope Saleem briefly muses on this as applied to his own story]] when he's collating everything at the very end, wondering if people will pick apart inconsistencies such as Saleem having to awaken his midnight power when none of the other children did.
* GenderBender: One of the titular children can do this by immersing themselves in water. Unfortunately for them, [[spoiler:this means they have to undergo ''two'' sterilizing surgeries in the end]].



* GroinAttack:
** Homi Catrack is shot in the groin, likely due to [[YourCheatingHeart his killer's motive]].
** [[spoiler:Saleem and the other midnight children are all castrated and hysterectomied by the Widow's sterilization crew. This has the side effect of removing their powers as well.]]
* HealingHands: Parvati's most prominent power, though she often combines it with medicinal poultices and the like. She can presumably perform other magic as well, but refuses to demonstrate anything other than WhiteMagic.
* HopeSpot: [[spoiler:After the midnight's children are gathered in the Widows' Hostel, Saleem believes that they can fight back now that they're finally all together. He encourages them to endure the torture and strike back once the Widow thinks they're finished... but then that torture turns out to remove their powers.]] Lampshaded by Saleem, who says that [[spoiler:in addition to vasectomies and hysterectomies, the sterilization crew performed "sperectomies" -- the removal of hope]].
* HowDareYouDieOnMe: Ahmed reacts badly to the death of his friend Doctor Narlikar. He calls it a "betrayal" on account of the fact that Ahmed couldn't actually attach his name to Narlikar's business due to religious persecution, and was thus totally dependent on Narlikar to give him the profits.
* ItsAllMyFault: Due to his belief that his life is metaphorically linked to the nation's Saleem, blames himself for just about everything.



** The birth of Saleem's son Aadam similarly echoes the opening. This is fitting, because just as Saleem was born at the moment of India's inception, Aadam was born at the moment Indira Gandhi declared the Emergency, and thus the birth of a "new India".



** The narration for [[spoiler:Saleem's castration operation]] in "Midnight" echoes the sinus operation of "Drainage and the Desert", even cutting off at the exact same point. This is likely because [[spoiler:both operations remove midnight powers]].



* TakenForGranite: Mary's mother suffers this fate after accidentally biting off a saint's toe... [[UnreliableNarrator possibly]].
* TimeTravel: One of the titular children has this power, though they don't seem to be able to actually affect events, only observe. They try to warn the other midnight children of impending doom, but [[CassandraTruth they aren't believed]].



* UnreliableNarrator: Saleem, on occasion, although he's quite upfront about his own fallibility.

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* UndyingLoyalty:
** Sonny Ibrahim remains a steadfast friend to Saleem despite the numerous indignities he receives for it, such as the bicycle accident and the Brass Monkey's torment.
** Parvati-the-witch remains Saleem's most vocal supporter even after the Midnight's Children Conference descends into a NotSoOmniscientCouncilOfBickering, and continues to tune in even after the conference disintegrates completely. Much later, she saves his life by smuggling him out of occupied Bangladesh.
* UnreliableNarrator: Saleem, on occasion, although he's quite upfront about his own fallibility. There is one event ([[spoiler:Shiva's murder]]) he outright admits to falsifying [[PlayedForLaughs less than two pages later]].



* WomanScorned: Saleem's father Ahmed was initially engaged to his aunt Alia. He ended up marrying her sister instead, and Saleem claims that Alia was consumed by bitterness as a result. When they move to Pakistan, she gets her revenge by [[MagicalRealism infusing their food with her jealousy and bitterness]], causing the cheerful family to rot from within. Interestingly, however, Saleem's only evidence for this is his [[TheNoseKnows supernatural ability to smell emotions]], raising the possibility that UnreliableNarrator is in effect.

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* WomanScorned: WomanScorned:
** Gender-flipped with Commander Sabarmati. When he learns his wife is cheating on him, he tries to kill them both. His wife survives, but her lover does not.
**
Saleem's father Ahmed was initially engaged to his aunt Alia. He ended up marrying her sister instead, and Saleem claims that Alia was consumed by bitterness as a result. When they move to Pakistan, she gets her revenge by [[MagicalRealism infusing their food with her jealousy and bitterness]], causing the cheerful family to rot from within. Interestingly, however, Saleem's only evidence for this is his [[TheNoseKnows supernatural ability to smell emotions]], raising the possibility that UnreliableNarrator is in effect.
* YourCheatingHeart: Saleem's mother can't let go of her first husband, and sneaks away to a cafe every so often to meet him. Saleem is so disturbed by this that he exposes a cheating scandal between Homi Catrack and Lila Sabarmati to discourage her. He succeeds, but Homi Catrack is killed by Lila's vengeful husband. [[ChildrenAreInnocent He didn't intend that outcome, and is shocked when it occurs]].
21st Jul '15 4:02:48 PM FoolsEditAccount
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* ChildrenAreInnocent:
** Sonny, who demonstrates UndyingLoyalty to Saleem, and continues to love the Brass Monkey even after she subjects him to a ShamefulStrip. Inverted everywhere else: The Brass Monkey lights shoes on fire and reacts violently to anyone who shows her affection; Evie Burns delights in torturing animals and ''murdered'' an old lady who objected to this (and also tries to murder Saleem). The other children in the neighborhood, while not nearly as violent, are still pretty belligerent.
** Also averted by the Midnight's Children Conference, whose eleven-year-old constituents turn on each other due to racial and religious prejudices.



** Only a few bombs actually hit anything on the final day of the Indian-Pakistan war of '65. Every single one of them hits somewhere relevant to Saleem ([[spoiler:all his family members except his sister, a friend of the family who could have sheltered him, the jail where his cousin was being held, and the housing project he could have gotten some resources out of]]).



* {{Motifs}}: A recurring trend is that scenes will sometimes be described in film jargon, as if Saleem is scripting a movie scene.



* NotBloodSiblings: [[spoiler:Saleem]] tries to invoke this when confessing his love to his sister. [[SubvertedTrope She doesn't go for it]], and in fact punishes him by [[spoiler:abandoning him to the army after they become orphans]].



** "Commander Sabarmati's Baton". Saleem sets off a chain of events that results in all his neighbors either dying or moving out; effectively, it is the end of the world of his childhood.



** "How Saleem Achieved Purity", the finale of book two. [[spoiler:Saleem's entire family (excluding his sister and one uncle) is killed in a single night.]]

to:

** "How Saleem Achieved Purity", the finale of book two. [[spoiler:Saleem's entire family (excluding his sister and one distant uncle) is killed in a single night.]]
This list shows the last 10 events of 27. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Literature.MidnightsChildren