Midnight's Children Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Midnight's Children

The book is about a young man who believes that his life and his destiny is closely linked with the story of his country, India. Saleem Sinai is almost thirty one years old. He believes that he will die on his thirty first birthday so he is in a hurry to finish telling his life story before the unfortunate event of his death. He lives in a chutney factory along with his friend Padma. She takes care of him and she listens to his story.
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Saleem Sinai was born at the exact same time with his country India. India gain its independence on August 15, 1947. The important announcement of independence was made at midnight and at the same time Saleem and 1001 other special children were born. The real story begun in 1915, when Aadam Naziz, Saleem's grandfather was called to a rich man's house to treat his daughter. Aadam was a doctor and he treated Naseem for three years without seeing her face even once. He fell in love with her and they got married and had three daughters named Emerald, Mumtaz and Alia.

Mumtaz married Ahmed Sinai, and he changed her name to Amina. They moved to Delhi and she got pregnant. While being pregnant, Amina witnessed a strange prophecy about her unborn child. She didn't understood what the man was talking about so she was disappointed. Ahmed owned a big factory but he had to pay some money to some organization and he failed to do so and they burned down his factory. Ahmed moved his entire family to Bombay and he bought a house from an Englishman that was about to leave the country.

Amina gives birth to a boy but her child is switched with a poor man's son and she doesn't know that. Saleem is a strange child and he has a huge nose. His midnight birth is considered a national event and his picture appears in the newspapers. He is told that his destiny is linked with the one of his country so he feels a huge pressure to be different. He hides in a chest and he starts hearing the voices of the other midnight children. He finds out that they all have special powers. His sinuses become clogged so he must undergo surgery. He loses his ability to communicate with the midnight children but he gains a powerful sens of smell and he can smell emotions.

Saleem's family moves back and forth between India and Pakistan until
his entire family is killed in the war between India and China and he also loses his memory. He finds himself enrolled in the army and he is the passive witness of the atrocities of the war. After spending some time in the jungle as a soldier he returns to India with the help of Parvati, one of the midnight's children.   
He marries Parvati even if she was pregnant with Shiva's child. Shiva was the boy that took Saleem's place at birth. He was a national hero because he had very powerful knees and he could fight very well.

The midnight children were sterilized at the request of the prime minister Indira Gandhi and all their powers were lost forever.

In the end Saleem decides to marry Padma, his friend even if he knows that he is going to die very soon.
Best part of story, including ending: I learned a lot about the history of India from this book.

Best scene in story: Saleem hides in a chest in the bathroom and he starts sneezing. His mother finds him and she punishes him for not telling her that he was there.

Opinion about the main character: I think that Saleem is overwhelmed by his destiny and he wants to die. He is a sensitive guy and a hypochondriac.

The review of this Book prepared by Andreea Lupei a Level 5 American Goldfinch scholar

Chapter Analysis of Midnight's Children

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 30%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Magical Beings/Mental/Magical/Powers    -   Yes magical powers:    -   telepath (scifi) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   20's-30's If magical mental powers:    -   can read emotions Really unusual traits?    -   Physically sick


Terrain    -   Mountains Earth setting:    -   current (early 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed How much dialogue?    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Midnight's Children

Salman Rushdie Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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