Post-colonial Analysis Of Salman Rushdie's The Perforated Sheet (extracts From The Novel – Book Report/Review Example
The Perforated Sheet “The Perforated Sheet”, the first book in Salmon Rushdie’s acclaimed novel, Midnight’s Children, surrounds the story of some of the events of the protagonist’s grandfather, Aadim Aziz. The protagonist of the novel, Saleem tells the tale of the way in which his grandfather, a medical doctor trained in Germany, is taken to examine a landowner’s daughter. The story is written as if Saleem was there, although he is rendering a biographical account told in the traditions of oral histories. He ties his own birth, which occurred on the day of the emancipation of India from its colonization under British rule on August 15 1945, by contrasting the beauty of his grandfather’s 1915 Kashmir with his own experience of the same city during the militarized India post-colonization.
The protagonist of this section of the book is Aadam who comes to a place in his life where his internal conflict over the state of the world becomes symbolized by a striking of his nose during prayer which spilled blood which results in his decision to never bow before man or God again. This begins the theme of holes as it is described that a hole opens up inside of him. This culminates when the landowner presents his patient to him with two women holding a sheet over her, providing only a seven inch hole in which he can view the woman in order to protect her dignity. The internal conflict is symbolized by Aadam’s own turmoil between the old ways and the new, which is externalized through the impending conflict of the old traditions of India and the colonization that will create great waves of challenges and change through the country. The setting of the story is described in great detail in order to create high contrasts between the way things were, how they are, and how they will be within the purview of the story teller.
The narrator tells the story from the point of view of his own experiences in India as he will define his life through its parallels to the growth of independence from Britain. Through the use of the metaphors of the holes, both in Aadam and in the sheet, the is a symbolism of something that is missing that needs to be revealed. The point of view of the story is that of Saleem through an omniscient sense that he can relate the experience of his grandfather as if he experienced it. This creates a sense of the fantastical without leaving the realm of reality. The sense that the story is a personal history and also the experience of his ancestor allows for a deeper connection to the time period as well as to the symbolism that is necessary to connect it to the post-colonial life of Saleem.
Rushdie, Salman. Midnights Children: A Novel. New York: Random House, 2006. Print.