Study Guide

Midnight's Children Foreignness And 'The Other'

By Salman Rushdie

Foreignness And 'The Other'

Ever notice how people don't tend to like foreigners? Not us of course, or else who would we practice our foreign languages with? But many other people think that foreigners are weird. They're different. They eat strange food. They talk funny. So they ostracize them.

The characters in Midnight's Children are no different. When Adam Aziz comes back smelling of Germany's foreignness, he's ostracized in a matter of months. We guess these things are genetic, because it seems like all of his children have problems with being weird. Even though we learn at first that being different is a bad thing, Saleem tries to turn being strange into a force for good and change. He's not too successful, but at least he tried.

Questions About Foreignness And 'The Other'

  1. Which characters are not considered other to some extent? Which characters are shown to be other?
  2. What problems does being other present for characters that are identified as different in the novel?
  3. Is being other good or bad in Midnight's Children?

Chew on This

Otherness is a bad thing in Midnight's Children.

Otherness is actually awesome in this novel, because it means that you're special.