Department Chair

Ralph L. Wahlstrom, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of English

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

English, M.A.


English Department


Barish Ali, Ph.D. Associate Professor of English

Department Home page

First Reader

Barish Ali, Ph.D. Associate Professor of English

Second Reader

Lorna L. Perez, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English


Magical Realism, arguably one of the most important literary forms to develop in the 20th century, is rarely discussed as a film genre, though there are notable film adaptations of magical realist novels. This thesis explores the film adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children to demonstrate how a magical realist novel may be adapted to a visual form, and still maintain the aesthetic sensibilities—and political implications—of the literary original. Drawing on film adaptation studies, close reading, and film analysis, the thesis argues that film can be an effective magical realist genre, even if the conventions of visual mediums are dramatically different than the narrative conventions of the original. Ultimately, this thesis will prove that despite these differences magical realism still exist in film. However it does exist in a different form. This thesis will look at the novel Midnight’s Children as well as the film version. While the thesis looks at certain passages from the novel, it will examine how these passages were transformed into film magical realism. The thesis will also be looking at how film techniques such as lighting, camera angles, and other techniques are used. In addition to all of this, the thesis shall examine how magical realism has evolved, from paintings to novels to film. It will look at three literary examples of magical realism and then three film examples. By doing this, the thesis shall give the reader a better handle on what magical realism is, how it exists as a literary phenomenon, and how it also exists in the film format.