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The Futility of Meaning in Midnight's Children

  • Date Submitted: 06/27/2010 02:15 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.6 
  • Words: 3469
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Salman Rushdie uses Saleem’s failed attempts at establishing importance through connections to portray the futility of achieving life’s meaning. In Midnight’s Children, Saleem attempts to demonstrate the meaningfulness of his life through his all-reaching connections, despite this being impossible unless Saleem was omnipotent. A connection is simply a relationship with something else, and if one has a relationship with everything, then that person is related to every existent importance, and this is what Saleem attempts
By showing how Saleem determines the meaning of life, Rushdie demonstrates that we create that meaning. As Saleem tries to establish importance through the connections of his family, the world, and the audience, those connections are all undermined, showing their futility.
It can be said that everyone creates their own meaning in life, and to prove my thesis, it is first important to demonstrate why connections are Saleem’s importance.  
“I have no hope of saving my life, nor can I count on having even a thousand nights and a night. I must work fast, faster than Scheherazade, if I am to end up meaning – yes, meaning – something. I admit it: above all things I fear absurdity” –pgs. 3-4
Primarily, this quote is about construction of a story. The word “work” can mean undertaking, performing, or doing something, but quite often is used as a synonym of “create”. Because it is used as an adjective of the story of Scheherazade this is confirmed. This is because in One Thousand Days & One Thousand Nights it was the creation of a story which gave meaning to Scheherazade’s life by allowing her to live. In other words, if it was not for the creation of a narrative, her life would have been rendered absurd. However, the part of the narrative that was essential to Scheherazade’s life –arguably more so than the content itself - were the connections between the stories. By connecting the stories in a way that would leave a cliff-hanger, they caused the...

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