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Midnight's Children

Midnight's Children


by Salman Rushdie

Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.

Plot Type : Tragedy

Anticipation Stage

Saleem looks for purpose and finds his nose.

We have waited 200 pages for Saleem to be born, so we have pretty high expectations. So does everyone else, and they expect him to do great things. So Saleem grows up trying to figure out what his purpose is. When he discovers that his nose allows him to read other people's minds, he's found it!

Dream Stage

Saleem starts the Midnight's Children Club, and even becomes the leader.

Normally in this stage, everything goes super well. Saleem has too many problems for this to be a real "dream," but it's close enough. For the first time in his life he can talk to people just like him. They even choose him as their leader. He just might be close to finding this "purpose" he's been looking for.

Frustration Stage

Saleem loses his power, his family, and his memory.

This is where the bad things start. His parents try to help him by treating him for his sinus infection, but he ends up losing his telepathy, which means he can't talk to the Midnight's Children anymore. Then the first Indo Pakistani war comes and kills his whole family. Right after that he loses his memory from being hit with a silver spittoon.

Nightmare Stage

Saleem's nightmare about The Widow finally comes true.

This novel gets a literal nightmare phase. Throughout the novel Saleem's been having this nightmare about someone called The Widow. He finally reveals to us that The Widow is Indira Gandhi, and that she sterilizes the Midnight's Children. When they get sterilized, they lose all of their powers. So that's the end of the Midnight's Children.

Destruction or Death Wish Stage

Saleem finishes his story and dies.

Saleem just isn't the same after he's sterilized. He has no future, and he hates anything new. He's been talking about these cracks in his body since the beginning of the novel, and he finally cracks apart. After marrying Padma, he is crushed to dust by a crowd.

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