I’m late this week on providing an update because my 3-year-old little boy was rushed to A&E for incessant coughing and shallow breathing (due to flu bugs) 2 days ago and was diagnosed with chest infection. It is time like this that always scare the hell out of parents and I wish I am the one who is inflicted with the illness rather than him.
Anyway, I am amazed with how time flies. We are in December and we are at the end of week 3 of the read along now, which also means we are on our last leg of the read-along. How did it happen??!!
Noticed I have provided extra time for the weekend and the read-along clock officially stop ticking on Monday, the 13th of December. I am happy to open the discussion forum up till 19th December, Sunday; and will time and again post updates about what other readers have reviewed.
Thoughts on Week 3…………
This week Zee of My Wordly Obsessions posted a beautiful first post of her read-along experience. A little late she said, but I am delighted that Zee is joining us and she answered two of the first week’s questions with thought provoking statements (emphasis are mine). I have chosen two paragraphs that I loved best:
Saleem’s unique destiny as a way of saying that all people are handcuffed to their own personal histories, whether they be familial, cultural, religious or otherwise. I am reminded of Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” When we are born, we enter part of an ongoing story or ‘play’ that other actors or people are taking part in. I’m not a fan of the notion that we live a preordained life, but I can’t help thinking some things might be set.
We don’t think in a linear way, so why should stories go in a straight line? When we encounter Saleem, he is writing an autobiography after all, and our lives are full of alleyways and multiple roads that we may have travelled at any one time. Our life history may even contain dead-ends and booby-traps.
Read the rest of Zee’s thought about Midnight’s Children here.
Jessica of Parks Benches & Bookends kept me update on where she is with her read-along. At one point she might have figured out the direction on where the book is taking but she just started book 3 last night and she likes the direction the book has suddenly gone into, but still haven’t got a clue where all this is leading to!!
As for me, I must say the book took a sudden tragic turn towards Book 3 and things are looking more intense now than ever. I can’t say if I like where the direction of the book is taking me, but I can’t wait to hear of your final thoughts and discuss what you think about the ending, (whereby spoilers warnings will be plastered everywhere in my next week’s post!).
This is the final week of the read-along (it will cover page 500 to the end, roughly till 647), besides past week’s questions:
more wrap-up discussion questions this time:
- Which character do you consider more sympathetic, Shiva or Saleem?
- What is the significance of Saleem’s adoption of Parvati-the-witch’s son?
- What is it with the oversized, over sensitive body parts? Knees, Noses, Ears?
- There were many owmen who played significant roles in Saleem’s life. Which was the most memorable to you? Which was the most appealing? Mary Pereira, Naseem, Amina, Padma, Jamilia (The Brass Monkey), Parvati the Witch, Alia (The vengeful), Eve Lilith Burn?
- What is the role of “Prickling” in this novel?
- With the birth of Saleem’s giant-eared son, history seems about to repeat itself; but Saleem senses that this time around, things will be different. How have circumstances changed?
- There are many incidents of humour in this work. Which one did you like best?
- Many passages evoke beautiful imagery. Which stands out for you?
- To what extent has the legacy of the British Empire, as presented in this novel, contributed to the turbulent character of Indian life?
- Saleem sees himself and his family as a microcosm of what is happening to India. His own life seems so bound up with the fate of the country that he seems to have no existence as an individual; yet, he is a distinct person. How would you characterise Saleem as a human being, set apart from the novel’s grand scheme? Does he have a personality?
- What is the significance of Kashmir in the eyes of Saleem? and what is the current state of India / Pakistan relations?
- Midnight’s Children is a novel about India, and attempts to map the modern Indian mind, with all its contradictions. In your discussions, how much difficulty have you had in addressing the novel from a Western perspective? Is there an ‘otherness’ which makes it hard to assimilate, or are the novel’s concerns universal and easily understood?
Enjoy the rest of the week. Keep warm and be safe. I’ll see you on the 13th of December!
If you like to share your thoughts or reviews at this point, share it on Mr. Linky!
If you like to read about the author’s interview on Midnight’s Children, click here.
The participants list: