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Themes

It makes sense that writing is an important part of Midnight's Children. The story is the written autobiography of the main character, after all. You can't have books without writing, can you? Even though Saleem literally creates himself and his own India through writing, most of the characters are not literary people. It's word-of-mouth versus pen and paper, and for almost everyone else beside Saleem, the mouth always wins.

Questions About Literature and Writing

  1. Why do you think Saleem points out that Padma and Tai are both illiterate?
  2. Why is Saleem so invested in preserving memories through writing? Why does he choose writing instead of something else, like film?
  3. What reactions do other characters in the novel have to Saleem's writing? Why? How is writing seen in their culture?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In Midnight's Children, the written word is all fine and dandy, but the spoken word is better.

The characters of the novel are literally made up of letters.

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