Midnight’s Children (Book Two, Part 2 REVISED SCHEDULE)

EDIT: One more note.  I’ve been asked to take over two of Prof. Chu’s classes for the rest of the semester.  This means I will have to change my office hours to 2:00-3:00 on TTh, from 3:30-4:30.

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As per my email, I’m changing the reading schedule for the rest of the semester.  Book Two is too long to do in three days.  Let’s stretch it to four, and push the last two days up one.  The final paper will be moved from May 15 to the “final exam” date of 5/24.

The revised midterm is still due on May 1st, but since you’re doing that, we’ll push off the essay reading up another day.
Here’s the new reading schedule:
5/1: 206-271
5/3: 272-336 plus the first essay for your paper option (Rushdie, Su, or Bharucha)
5/8: 337-393 plus the second essay for your paper option (Booker, Frank, or Gane)
5/10:398-464
5/15: 465-533
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For our reading, since I felt like we lost a little steam today, I’d just like to ask this question–what passage from the novel that we haven’t discussed (either in today’s passage or elsewhere) do you find most interesting?  (Cite it.)  Why?
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11 Responses to “Midnight’s Children (Book Two, Part 2 REVISED SCHEDULE)”

  1. Zasha Lucas says:

    I found interesting the end of the Alpha and Omega chapter because we know more than the characters in the book. When Saleem is losing blood and the parents find out that Saleem does not have the same blood type. Amina starts to get worried of what Ahmed may think of her now because of this “janumplease. Ibegyou. No, what are you saying. Of course it was. Of course you are the. How could you think I would. Who could it have. O God don’t just stand and look. I swear Iswearonmymother’shead. Now shh he is…” (270). It was interesting because we know the truth and we don’t know what is going to happen next with the relationship between Amina and Ahmed.

  2. jeanine says:

    My favorite part of the book is at the end of book one. It’s  my favorite because that’s when we find out that Saleem was switched at birth. Padma starts accusing Saleem that he lied to her about his family not being blood related. But how should he know when he also just found out about the whole situation. I find it the most interesting because then a reader would want to know more and more about what is going on in the novel. This is interesting because it starts conflict and I like books with drama. 

  3. mhealy101 says:

    One of the parts that I found most interesting in the novel thus far occurs in the section ‘Accident in a Washing-chest’. As we know this is the time when Saleem starts to realize some of the powers that he has. Instead of showing them to the world, he isolates himself in the washing-chest because of fear that people would think he was wrong. In my edition of the text Saleem states, “ I became afraid that everyone was wrong-that my much trumpeted existence might turn out to be utterly useless, void, and without the shred of purpose”(464). Even when he does speak of his powers no one really believes him.

  4. jkauffman says:

    I agree with marissae17 because I found the part, where it is revealed that Saleem was switched at birth, to be very surprising and interesting. It changes everything so much because we are all wondering how Saleem’s life might have turned out, had he not been switched at birth.

  5. seanlevine says:

    The proverb/idiom “What can’t be cured must be endured.'” Which appeared on pg 214 really stuck with me as I read. Granted it’s not a relevant plot point, nor does it’s meaning elude me. However I think it speaks to the struggle both India and Saleem/The Midnight children as a whole are subject to. Expressing at once the sickness/corrupt/tumultuous nature of their society, and the need to persevere in order to forge a better future.

  6. Erika says:

    Dark-skinned references I wasn’t too sure about Amina sharing a seat in the taxi was a bit puzzling that particular scene. My edition page 99

  7. Jamie Rohr says:

    I find the connection to pickles very intriguing, and a little bit confusing. Is there a greater significance to pickles that I am unaware of? On page 62, Saleem is dreaming of a pickle factory, twice and then when he awakes, Padma brings him food, among which she has brought pickles!Thats interesting

  8. GordonWTam says:

    I think a lot of this book is very interesting and haven’t foind a most interesting yet. As there is now the scant hints of superpowers, it can only stand to get more interesting. One part I found kind of fun was Saleems gramps Aadam Aziz falling in love with Naseem. Love at first sight is taken to a whole new level, since Doctor Aziz can’t see her face but finds himself falling for Naseem. “Aadam began to hope with an illicit desperation for Naseem Ghani to develop a migraine or graze her unseen chin, so they could look each other in the face.” (25) It’s such an unusual situation, falling in love with a patient but never seeing her face, having to hope she injures her face to see it. I guess it’s a knock on how life was back then. I thought it was amusing.

  9. marissae17 says:

    The part that I find most interesting is just at the end of Book 1, when we find out that Saleem has been switched at birth. This is one of my favorite parts of the book because, as we spoke about in our first blog, the way that Padma reacts to this. She accuses him of lying to her and that his “family” really isn’t his: “What thing are you that you don’t even care to tell the truth about who your parents were?” (131). I find it interesting to because who is Padma to say who Saleems parents are. Just because that Mumtaz (Amina Sinai) didn’t physically give birth to him, doesn’t mean that she didn’t give all her love and attention to him (especially since Mumtaz didn’t know that it wasn’t her child)!

  10. cbergmann says:

    The episode I find most interesting so far occurs on pages 252-253. Saleem is now contacting the other Midnight’s Children via his psychic powers and he finally meets Shiva. The section that interests me is the one where Shiva talks about purpose: “For what reason you’re rich and I’m poor? Where’s the reason in starving, man?” (252). This critique on class division is interesting because, actually, there is a reason why Shiva is poor and Saleem rich, a very specific reason. Also I think it really captures the concept of the lottery of life: you cannot pick where you are born and to whom. The episode continues describing the types of things the poor have to deal with in India, starvation and purposeful-mutilation to name two.

  11. nmulet says:

    One part that I thought was interesting/very confusing was when Ahmed and his two business partners went to pay off the arsonists (93-94). I wasn’t sure if that was really a monkey throwing the money off of the roof of the building. After rereading it, I guess it was a group of monkeys with a monkey leader. But why would the arsonist gang want them to leave the money in a monkey’s domain? And let Hanuman throw it into that cesspool/sewage area? Is that to demonstrate how useless money is? Perhaps, the gang doesn’t really need the money, they just don’t want anyone else to have it. Or they want others to make a sacrifice of some kind. That passage really stuck with me, probably only because I found it more confusing than any other in the book.