Study Guide

Midnight's Children Family

By Salman Rushdie


What is a family? Two grownups get together and have a kid. Maybe they aren't married. Maybe the kid is adopted. There are so many options that we could spend all day listing them. Families have gotten pretty non-traditional nowadays, but not as non-traditional as in Midnight's Children. Here children get switched at birth, parents are created by the children, and genealogies are the product of drunken reverie. It's safe to say that the idea of family is pretty malleable in the novel, but that doesn't make it any less important to the characters.

Questions About Family

  1. Why is Ahmed obsessed with creating a genealogy for his family? Does he succeed?
  2. Why does Saleem's uncle create genealogies for Indian families? What impact does his hobby have on the novel?
  3. Saleem mentions that Aadam Aziz and Amina Sinai are orphans. Who else is an orphan in this novel? Do they have anything in common?

Chew on This

Family is not very important in Midnight's Children.

Even though family can change, grow, or shrink, family is still very important to the characters in the novel.