Study Guide

Midnight's Children Time

By Salman Rushdie


Midnight's Children is definitely a time warp. Forget Universal Studios and Back to the Future, this is the real Time Machine. Time goes forwards and backwards, up and down, slantways and sideways. The story only follows the linear narrative for moments at a time. At the same time, the characters are inescapably bound by time. Their lives are intimately connected to it, and even when they try to escape, they can't. That leaves us with a question: If time is so flexible, how can it be so constraining? Well that's up to you to answer, because Midnight's Children isn't giving any hints.

Questions About Time

  1. How does time work in Midnight's Children? Does it control people, or do people control it?
  2. How are the lives of Saleem's family connected to history and time in the novel? Why are they connected?
  3. Which characters in the novel are focused on the past? The present? The future? What are the differences between these characters?

Chew on This

In Midnight's Children, time is inescapable. It controls everyone.

Time is extremely flexible in Midnight's Children. It can go forward, backward, speed up, and slow down.