“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 (Thesis)
Tori Rudacille, Summer 2017
Director: Jessica Berman
Committee Members: Raphael Falco and Jean Fernandez
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. Rudacille argues 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.