Sunday, October 16, 2011

Individuality or Group Membership

While reading Midnight’s Children I actually found myself thinking of the essay question that some of us answered in class on Thursday.  When Saleem is talking about how he makes this conference with all the children of Midnight he talks about being a member of a group and taking pleasure in the fact that he belongs somewhere.  But he also states that it is difficult to distinguish all the voices from each either.  They sort of become a collective identity to him, “a sort of many headed monster” (Rushdie 262).  HE himself holds himself as an individual separate from the Conference but while he understands the other children are also individuals he does not distinguish them as individuals.  This poses an interesting question about being a member of a group, a society, or retaining individuality.  Saleem seems to feel that since he is the one who put the Conference together that he should remain an individual, the “mascot” of the group yet everyone else is simply “the group.”  Individuality is okay for him and the other children as long as they are not conferencing in the midnight hour.  Once they reach that midnight hour everyone else ceases to be individuals and becomes a collective entity.  In a way, I cannot blame him; it would be hard to give individual identities to over 500 voices.  But at the same time, he is the one who always retains individuality in these sessions so it does not seem entirely fair. 

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps Rushdie is suggesting that this sort of individuality is a problem since it is focusing on differences that makes the MC unable to do anything or make a change in India.