First of all before investigating the details about the language used in this book learning of some aspects about the author, his ideas within the novel and may be main traits that can be outlined in general. Midnight’s Children, for example, is Rushdie’s one of his finest books. To understand the language of the book it should be noted that this book is surrealist fiction that somehow deals with the history of India from 1910 up to the declaration of the emergency in 1976 through the eyes of main personage.
The narrative framework of Midnight’s Children consists of a tale that in fact comprises his life story. It recalls indigenous, original Indian culture, way of life within the country. Particularly we may say that the similarly orally recounted Arabian Nights. The events represented in Rushdie’s text are also paralleled to the magical nature of the narratives recounted in the Arabian Nights. The second narrative “Things Fall Apart” is a work of Chinua Achebe. To my mind as for its essence it is very close to “Midnight’s Children” representing events taking pert in Africa.
Its most striking and conspicuous feature is to create a complex and sympathetic portrait of a traditional village culture in Africa. The main personage is trying not only to inform the outside world about cultural traditions of one people unit, but to remind his own people of their past, their history; and to assert that it had contained much of value that really had to treasured. According to his thoughts, too many Africans in his time were ready to accept the European judgment that Africa had no history at all or culture worth considering and remembering.
The author also fiercely resents and show antipathy towards the stereotype of Africa as an undifferentiated and primitive land, main character rejects the idea that Africa is the heart of darkness. Throughout the novel he shows how strongly African cultures vary even among themselves and how they change over time. Look for instances of these variations as you read. The language of the both novels is very simple but very dignified. When the characters speak, they use an elevated diction, whose words mean to convey the sense of Ibo speech. This choice of language was an innovative and brilliant stroke.
Salman Rushdie uses narrative technique, genre and the concept of history in a very new and striking way. In Midnight’s Children, for example, he tries to show all these inventions in order to place his story outside the euro-centric tradition of literature, narrative and history. The language is veiling and revealing some hidden hints of the author. These traditions, appearing in the colonial period of the history, have constructed a notion of universalism in literature where the “classics” of the western canon actually have set the order of the day.
The theory of history represented in Midnight’s Children efforts not to replace the centre in this traditional binary of centre and outskirts, but rather to deconstruct this binary in order to gain access to history. Salman Rushdie tries to split this binary by using a very different and unusual kind of narrative, an interesting and sometimes curious mixture of an oral narrative style with all the colloquialisms distinctive of that style, on the one hand, and a very formal style typical of written language on the other hand.
In addition to this other linguistic moments like Pidgin English are used. All these elements serve to make the novel distinctive of the Western tradition, even though it uses an English language and a format of the novel which are so essential to the Western literary canon. Analyse the genre and style of the novel we somehow trying to show how Rushdie accomplishes all his either linguistic or literature ends. Though used language is a simple one some parts of the book require double reading for better understanding. Magic realism can therefore be seen through the whole novel.
It also was author’s device to binde Indian culture of the past to the contemporary multicultural interface. This genre of magic realism also helped author to put the novel Midnight’s Children outside the custom rules of literature. Rushdie’s technique of magic realism usage in the text involves the telepathic abilities of main personage of the novel. Within the language of narration while writing or reading magic realist text we can see a battle between two oppositional systems, each working toward the creation of a fictional world from the other.
If we regard this as the world of fantasy and the world of reality, then both factors can be seen to be always present and competing for the reader’s interest and attention. The fantastic is easily distinguished in Midnight’s Children. The reality makes its voice heard through it. What’s more, Rushdie’s comments enable the gift of language of telepathy to be perceived as a magical sign of the objective reality of contemporary Indian society. Author says that the real social relations of post-colonial cultures arise, through the mediation of the text’s language of narration.
It cannot be said that something similar to these new rule and techniques were traced through literature. Things Fall Apart we may possibly define as the struggle between change and tradition. As a novel about a culture on the verge of very change, Things Fall Apart deals with how the prospect, possibility and reality of change influence various characters. The worry about whether this change should be privileged over tradition very often involves questions. The resistance of cultural change is sometimes due to simple fear of losing societal status.
Human sense of self-worth is so much dependent upon the traditional standards outlined be society and by which society judges him. The main question is how best to adapt to the reality of change. Throughout the novel it is shown for how dependent traditions are upon storytelling and language and thus how quickly the abandonment of the any local language for English could lead to the elimination of these traditions. Here we also may mark the Language as a particular sign of cultural difference. Language is a theme of the utmost importance in Things Fall Apart.
Trying to demonstrate the ingenious, often very formal language of the local population the fact that Africa is not the silent or incomprehensible country is emphasized to a certain extent, by peppering this novel with local language words, author shows that the this language is too composite for direct translation into English language. Just the same as with language, the culture of a social unit can’t be understood within the framework of European colonialist values. Author also highlights that Africa has many different languages.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer; things fall apart; the center cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”. Be these words Achebe points out the chaos and disorder that arises when a system collapses. The statement “the center cannot hold” is an ironic reference to the forthcoming collapse of the African tribal system that was threatened by the rise of imperialist bureaucracies, and at the same time it is reference to the forthcoming disintegration of the British Empire.
The contradictory nature of the passage’s language suggests the lack of ability of humankind to put a stop to this collapse. The abstraction in the language makes the ideas stated in this passage universal. One more decisive factor that is extremely significant that the author chose to write the novel Things Fall Apart in English language. Thus, he definitely intended it to be read not only by his fellow Nigerians, but also by the West readers, if not more. His goal was to critique and alter the portrait of Africa that was envisaged by so many writers and perhaps even readers of the colonial period.
To implement this idea required the use of English language exactly, the language of those colonial writers who are supposed to read the novel. Through author’s inclusion of local proverbs, folktales, and songs translated into English language, the device was to managed to capture and communicate the rhythms, organization, structures, cadences, and beauty of the local language described in the novel. Only through this impossible from the first sight mixture the reader even an unprepared one will be able to perceive all the abundance and profusion not only of English but also of local specific language.
That is supposed to awake the consciousness and realization of numerous lives outside English or may be any other world. “And at last the locusts did descend, they settled on every tree and on every blade of grass; they settled on the roofs and covered the bare ground; mighty tree branches broke away under them, and the whole country became the brown-earth color of the vast, hungry swarm”. This part represents, in elevated allegorical terms, the arrival of the colonizers.
The repetitions of the phrase “they settled” creates a hard feeling and somehow understanding of the inevitable fact. Every word, every phrase is so dexterously chosen that will not escape the reader’s attention. In other words, the struggle described in this novel is between tradition and change; language is used as a sign of cultural difference and a tool of intercultural communication. Besides abundant language this novel is highly symbolic. While reading the words of the novel one should bear in mind the symbols author tried to convey.
Two of the main symbols are the locusts and fire. The locusts symbolize the white colonists descending upon Africans natives, seeming to predict good but actually portending wearisome encounters. Fire symbolizes Okonkwo’s nature, it is so fierce and destructive at the same. A third symbol is supposed to be the drums, they represent the physical connection of the community of clansmen in Umuofia, and acts as a metaphorical heartbeat that beats in unison, uniting all the village members. To determine which author was more skillful in operating with language is almost impossible.
Being too close in sense these both novels deserve to be brilliant. Both authors tried within their work to communicate their ideas to the reader as easy as possible, in most parts appealing to the sub consciousness, using every possible linguistic technique to make the novel brighter and more vivid. The ideas of novel make human mind work faster and realize simple and so very important things. Implying to one everyday things the author may speak about much more essential events. Subsequently, these novels worth reading.