Rushdie Paper - Muller 1 Maureen Muller Dr. Erney English...

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Muller 1 Maureen Muller Dr. Erney English 5610 September 28, 2008 The Women of Midnight’s Children Midnight’s Children takes place during an era of political turmoil in India that literally divided the country and its people. The events were both frightening and liberating, but absent from the political history is the presence of women. What history was written about women was written by men. What we do know for certain is the condition of Indian women today and according to “Chronic Hunger and the Status of Women in India” the situation is grim: women are malnutritioned, receive far less health care than their male counterparts, they lack the resources to get an education, on average hey work longer hours than men and complete more arduous labor intensive work. Furthermore, according to this same article, there has been alarming statistics released on the mistreatment of women and still exist powerlessly under the patriarchal traditions, lacking the power to decide who they will marry, despite recent legislation passed against this tradition in India. One can only imagine the dismal conditions and the womens’ senses of self worth in that existed in the era of Rushdie’s novel. Perhaps it is Salman Rushdie’s own western education or perhaps it his realization of the social injustices that
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Muller 2 prevailed and still prevail in India. Perhaps, it is his own relationships with the females, whatever the answer, it has inspired his creation of dynamic and strong female characters that break the mold of the submissive Indian woman. Salman Rushdie’s controversial portrayal of female characters in the novel Midnight’s Children does not objectify them, rather, it empowers them. The first major character portrayed in the novel is Padma. Padma exists as a character to control the narrator and the direction of the narrator’s story, this alone gives her great power over the readers and also over the writer himself, sometimes dictating the direction of his story. Padma is opinionated and vocal and unafraid to interrupt. She is sensual and sexual. She is not a woman of fantasy or sexual fiction, she is an actual woman with a thick waist and physical flaws. Furthermore, she is not the submissive Indian woman in an arranged marriage. Padma is free to
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This note was uploaded on 07/29/2010 for the course SCI none taught by Professor None during the Spring '10 term at Armstrong State University.

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Rushdie Paper - Muller 1 Maureen Muller Dr. Erney English...

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