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Midnight's Children | Study Guide

Salman Rushdie

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Midnight's Children | Book Summaries

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Timeline of Events

Book Summaries Chart

Book Summary
Book 1, The Perforated Sheet Saleem Sinai describes the historical impact of the date and time of his birth: midnight on August 15, 1947, the moment ... Read More
Book 1, Mercurochrome Saleem Sinai continues his narrative in the presence of Padma, a maker of chutney who is also his loving companion. Padm... Read More
Book 1, Hit-the-Spittoon At the opening of this chapter Saleem Sinai claims to be falling apart. His body is "coming apart at the seams." And his... Read More
Book 1, Under the Carpet Aadam Aziz suffered the defeat of the Hummingbird and this early prospect for partition by burying himself in his work a... Read More
Book 1, A Public Announcement The chapter opens in January 1947 and is situated historically in descriptions of the end to colonial rule and the prepa... Read More
Book 1, Many-headed Monsters Two journeys open this chapter, which Saleem Sinai is still relating in flashback. Amina Sinai takes a taxi to the Red F... Read More
Book 1, Methwold The chapter opens with a flashback to a peaceful time before the arrival of the British East India Company and the Briti... Read More
Book 1, Tick, Tock Saleem Sinai recounts the elements of his world beginning with the lives of his grandparents, which he described through... Read More
Book 2, The Fisherman's Pointing Finger The chapter's title refers to a painting on the wall over Saleem Sinai's crib. The section opens with Padma's despair ov... Read More
Book 2, Snakes and Ladders The bad omens that occurred in the months following independence were believed to be divine objections to partition and ... Read More
Book 2, Accident in a Washing-chest Padma has disappeared, and the storyteller has lost his audience. Although there is a substitute chutney stirrer on the ... Read More
Book 2, All-India Radio Padma has not returned, and Saleem Sinai complains of the cracks beginning at his navel and spreading across his body li... Read More
Book 2, Love in Bombay It is "Ramzan, the month of fasting," and the Muslims at Methwold Estates go to the movies to avoid the pangs of hunger—... Read More
Book 2, My Tenth Birthday Padma has returned, declaring her love and carrying with her an herbal potion she has concocted at the advice of a holy ... Read More
Book 2, At the Pioneer Café This chapter in its form is more disconnected than any preceding it. The chapter opens with a change in literary style: ... Read More
Book 2, Alpha and Omega Saleem Sinai sets the story of Evelyn Lilith Burns that he promised to Padma in the context of the aftermath of the gene... Read More
Book 2, The Kolynos Kid In the narrative present Saleem Sinai begins by asserting his place at the center of Indian life. He cites an excerpt fr... Read More
Book 2, Commander Sabarmati's Baton When Mary Pereira returned from exile, her dreams of Joseph D'Costa's ghost resumed. She was shocked to see that the gho... Read More
Book 2, Revelations The chapter opens with the mythology of the birth of Lord Khusro Khusrovani Bhagwan, India's "richest guru," originally,... Read More
Book 2, Movements Performed by Pepperpots Saleem Sinai decided to exclude Shiva from the conference rather than having them discover his true parents. Saleem ackn... Read More
Book 2, Drainage and the Desert India was on the verge of war, and the Sinais were summoned home. Ahmed Sinai had had, according to a telegram received ... Read More
Book 2, Jamila Singer The Sinais moved into the home of Alia Aziz, the embittered Aziz sister who never married. There, Saleem Sinai claimed t... Read More
Book 2, How Saleem Achieved Purity In the opening frame Saleem Sinai, who from early on had announced that he was dying, notes how tired he is and how he c... Read More
Book 3, The Buddha The chapter opens with Padma weeping as Saleem describes the aftermath of the war, which includes his amnesia, the resul... Read More
Book 3, In the Sundarbans The buddha (Saleem Sinai) and his three young friends drifted south in a borrowed boat. Saleem acknowledges that the bud... Read More
Book 3, Sam and the Tiger Sam of the chapter's title is Indian field marshal General Sam Manekshaw (1914–2008), chief of staff of the Indian army ... Read More
Book 3, The Shadow of the Mosque Saleem Sinai is in a rush to complete his story "before memory cracks beyond hope of reassembly." He also acknowledges t... Read More
Book 3, A Wedding Padma is shocked to learn that Saleem Sinai had been married to Parvati-the-witch and accuses him of lying to her. In hi... Read More
Book 3, Midnight This chapter opens with Saleem Sinai's struggle, his wish to continue his story and his unwillingness to relive the horr... Read More
Book 3, Abracadabra Saleem Sinai acknowledges a lie in his narrative; he claims it is the only lie in the story. He has lied about Shiva's d... Read More
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