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Archives > 4) Deception and family

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message 1: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 2064 comments Mod
At the very heart of Midnight's Children is an act of deception: Mary Pereira switches the birth-tags of the infants Saleem and Shiva. The ancestors of whom Saleem tells us at length are not his biological relations; and yet he continues to speak of them as his forebears. What effect does this have on you, the reader? How easy is it to absorb such a paradox?

message 2: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Robitaille | 976 comments This also needs to be put under the light of some historical events. Saleem's forbears (and ancestors) originate from Kashmir, but moved to Bombay/Mumbai before he was born. Being born at the exact minute India assumed its independence, Saleem quite justifiably initially feels more Indian (or a son of India) despite the fact that he is Muslim and from parents originating of a disputed region between Pakistan and India (although Srinagar is clearly in India). When he returns to Pakistan in Rawalpindi (like so many Muslims who left India to migrate to Pakistan or Bangladesh) and ultimately loses all his family and memories, the process is somewhat similar to these Muslim exiles, in the fact that their migration erased all their past as inhabitants of India.

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