Much critical attention has been devoted to Rushdie’s treatment of the temporal aspect. However, relatively few critics explore spatial metaphors together with temporal ones to shed light on the writer's historical vision and view of spatial existence. A scrutiny of Midnight Children will reveal surprising correspondences between Bakhtin’s concept of chronotope and Rushdie’s artistic representation of temporal and spatial metaphors. This paper thus purports to investigate how Rushdie, by means of unique chronotopic motifs, disrupts Western concept of linear history and reconstructs the hero's identity as a post-colonial writer. To embody symbolically the cultural conflict between Britain and its colony India, Rushdie exploits several chronotopes, including supersensitive nose, perforated sheet, mistiming clock, and hollowed body, to visualize the counter-forces of history and reality. Through the writer's senses, the objective reality is often underplayed by his "subjective playing with time and subjective distortion of space.” Therefore, the past becomes creative and busily engages in the present to make sense of human existence, while space is in constant motion to resist physical confinement. Such a dynamic temporal-spatial frame is fully actualized in Rushdie's treatment of chronotopic motifs in Midnight Children.
臺灣英美文學期刊, 1(1), 33-48 Taiwan journal of English literature