"What's Real and What's True Aren't Necessarily the Same" Interrogating Identity and The Fantastic in Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses
MetadataShow full item record
Type of WorkText
ProgramTexts, Technologies, and Literature
RightsThis item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by UMBC for non-commercial research and education. For permission to publish or reproduce, please see http://aok.lib.umbc.edu/specoll/repro.php or contact Special Collections at speccoll(at)umbc.edu
Distribution Rights granted to UMBC by the author.
The Satanic Verses
This thesis examines Salman Rushdie?s use of the fantastic to construct multiple conceptions of Indian national identity in Midnight?s Children and The Satanic Verses. In both texts, the "irruptions of the fantastic" work to establish Rushdie?s characters? mixed identifications with their individualized conceptions of Indian heritage and their individualized conceptions of modernity. With each character, Rushdie complicates any essentialist notion of Indian heritage, European-influenced modernity, and Eastern modernity by presenting his characters as hybrid beings whose identification continuously shifts throughout both texts, to prove that few characters remain fixed in their identification with any of these notions; their shifts in identification tell the reader much about their individualized constructions of India from both within the nation?in Midnight?s Children?and outside the nation?in The Satanic Verses. It is argued that a character?s reaction to "irruptions of the fantastic" in both texts determines where that character?s identification lies in this complex schema, whether they are identifying more with their conception of heritage or more with their conception of modernity at that point in the text, and how those conceptions of heritage and modernity present Rushdie?s larger construction of India as a postmodern, postcolonial nation.