Forbidden Love In The God Of Small Things Written By Arundhati Roy

1072 words - 4 pages

This essay focuses on the theme of forbidden love, The God of Small Things written by Arundhati Roy. This novel explores love and how love can’t be ignored when confronted with social boundaries. The novel examines how conventional society seeks to destroy true love as this novel is constantly connected to loss, death and sadness. This essay will explore the theme of forbidden love, by discussing and analysing Ammu and Velutha's love that is forbidden because of the ‘Love Laws’ in relation to the caste system which results in Velutha’s death. It is evident that forbidden love negatively impacts and influences other characters, such as Estha and Rahel, which results in Estha and Rahel’s incestuous encounter.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy tells the story of the communist state of Kerala and the forbidden love between two castes, which changes the lives of everyone. In the novel an ‘Untouchable’, Velutha is a carpenter and works at Paradise Pickles and Preserves for much less than he deserves because of his status as an Untouchable in the caste system. Velutha falls into a forbidden love with a divorced woman, Ammu who is associated with an upper caste Syrian Christian Ipe family. Marriage was the only way that Ammu could have escaped this life, but she lost the chance when marrying the wrong man, as he was an alcoholic and this resulted in them getting a divorce. Ammu breaks the laws that state ‘who should be loved, and how and how much’, as their affair threatens the ‘caste system’ in India, which is a hierarchal structure and social practice in India in which your position in society is determined and can’t be changed. Arhundati Roy portrays the theme of forbidden love within the caste systems and shows how they are treated and how women in general are marginalized. Velutha is regarded as a ‘nobody’ because he is a Paravan. This choice of loving someone who should not be loved, results in devastation and damage for the family,including the twins Estha and Rahel.

As a result of Ammu and Velutha breaking the ‘Love Laws’, this results in Ammu being disowned by her family, who strictly obeys the caste system , because she ‘defied generations of breeding and brought the family into its knees’, suggesting that Ammu encountered oppression and cruelty from the society in which she belonged, as she could be expelled from her Caste for carrying out such an undignified act.

Besides the relationship between Ammu and Velutha, the twins also share a bond of friendship with Velutha, ‘with the man they weren’t supposed to love’, suggesting that despite the fact that Velutha is an ‘Untouchable’ the twins are tremendously fond of him. The three children, Estha , Rahel and Sophie Mol visit Velutha and have a tea party, ‘he greeted them with the utmost courtesy’, suggests that he respects and admires the children. ‘It is only now, these years later, that Rahel with adult hindsight , recognized the sweetness of this gesture. A grown man entertaining...

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