by Salman Rushdie
Analysis: Narrator Point of View
Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?
First Person (Central Narrator)
It's actually kind of funny if you think about it. Why write a novel about a kid with telepathy in the first person? Rushdie could've written it in the third person omniscient, and it would have been just like we had telepathy too. But that wasn't the point. The thing is, this is Saleem's story and no one else's.
Sure we see tons of people and learn lots about them, but every character in this novel exists to tell us more about Saleem. Of course, Saleem does pretend to be omniscient. For example, he tells us that Jamila Singer survived the war even though that doesn't make a lot of sense. Omniscience or refusal to accept reality? You decide.
Saleem is arrogant, self-centered, pompous, and any other word you can think of for having a big head. So of course the novel is written in his point of view. That way we see the things that he wants us to see, and nothing else. It's probably also the only way to keep us from hating him, thinking he's crazy, or being disgusted by him, since that's probably what at least half of the other characters think about Saleem. Honestly, if this is Saleem's good face, we don't want to see his bad face.