Analysis of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children and Virginia Woolfe’s Mrs. Dalloway

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Transitions of place, time, and character are key to the storytelling in Salman Rushdie's “Midnight's Children” and Virginia Woolfe’s “Mrs. Dalloway”. Rushdie explores the History, Nationalism and Hybridism of the nation of India after they became independent of Great Britain. Woolfe comments heavily on English society more through her description of her characters, and the weaving of time and place is an effective way to telling the stories of her characters as we follow them through a single day. This essay will compare in three passages from “Midnight’s Children” the effectiveness of transitioning from place and time to the way Woolfe did so in “Mrs. Dalloway”. Furthermore, it will explore why each passage is a good demonstration of …show more content…
This parallels the narrative structure of the novel as being circular, discontinuous and digressive. The same can easily be said for Mrs Dalloway as the novel almost jarringly weaves through many points of view. This fragmentation appropriates the concept of history in “Midnight’s Children”, which was developed by colonizers. History works for a particular class of ideology, and therefore it will be contaminated, oblique and subjective. In Mrs. Dalloway the characters themselves are subjective commentaries on English society, and they have been subjectively contaminated by Woolfe’s opinions of who they represent.
The functionality of history is grounded in the simple assumption that life is shaped like a story. Whereas Woolfe admittedly wrote in an experimental style that was more of a slice of life than a traditionally shaped story with a beginning, middle, and end. For Saleem, who is “buffeted by too much history”, it is his memory which creates his own history. The same is true of everyone in “Mrs. Dalloway”. “Memory, as well as fruit, is being saved from the corruption of the clocks”. This quote could have easily been in Mrs. Dalloway, particularly when Clarissa reacted to the suicide of Septimus and seemed to fear the aging brought on by ticking clocks. Yet, for Rushdie, it is not based on the universal empty time that has been conceptualized by the colonizers. Notions of time and space are integrated into both novels.
The novel critiques

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