Taboos And Love Laws In "The God Of Small Things" By Arundhati Roy .

2193 words - 9 pages

Taboos exist in all societies; they are the conventions that govern behaviour and conduct. The basic definition of taboo is: "Any conventional social restriction" (Webster's New World Dictionary 600). This characterizes what is meant by a taboo very clearly, but, taboos are not always universal; they change with time and place. Furthermore, taboos may exist in all societies but are not recognized nor are violators prosecuted the same in all. Usually, the various classifications of taboos are either cultural or religious. For instance, many European cultures share the same taboos, whereas North America, Asia, and the other continents have their own. Conversely, many Christian religious groups have taboos that contrast with other religious groups' behavioural laws. However, regardless of region or origin, the breaking of taboos is seen as an unacceptable behaviour in all cultures and carries a considerable societal or legal punishment. In her novel, The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy explicitly depicts numerous transgressions against taboos and what she identifies as the "Love Laws", both specifically cultural and universal.All cultures and societies have taboos that do not extend across the world. Western culture has many prohibitions that are perfectly acceptable in other societies. For example, both police corruption and domestic violence are serious taboos in western culture but are common occurrences in third world cultures. Police corruption runs rampant in most developing countries. Pay-offs are not only widespread but also anticipated. Brutality is a familiar event. In addition, fabrication for personal or political purposes is unchecked. Roy reveals this in her depiction of Inspector Thomas Mathew as a calculating, fraudulent pillar of society. He is unwilling to look at the truth if it will condemn his own motives and actions. Roy presents this when Ammu comes to him to save Velutha,"...When Ammu went to him tell him that a mistake had been made and he tapped her breasts with his baton, it was not a policeman's spontaneous brutishness on his part. He knew exactly what he was doing. It was a premeditated gesture, calculated to humiliate and terrorize her. An attempt to instil order into a world gone wrong." (Roy 246)Domestic violence is another crime that is treated very differently by diverse cultures. Again, western society has strict laws regarding domestic violence, whereas many developing countries do not. In many of these third world cultures, domestic violence is an ordinary event and, in all likelihood, probable. Roy expresses this with the familiar way that she describes the abuse in Ammu's childhood and married life. The abuse of both herself and her mother is paralleled in her marriage with her husband's brutality against the twins and herself.On the other hand, most of the taboos that Roy unveils in The God of Small Things are universal and are recognized in all cultures. The sanctity of the church and religion is one...

Find Another Essay On Taboos and Love Laws in "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy .

The Oppression of Colonized India Illustrated in Arundhati Roy’s Novel The God of Small Things

1527 words - 6 pages should lie. In Arundhati Roy’s novel “The God of Small Things”, the Kochamma family is a family of tragic situations and tragic people. Not all of their problems stem from colonization; in fact it is their own cultural traditions that lead to much of the tragedy; however it can be argued that the underlying theme within the novel is one of a people oppressed by the colonization of India by England, and how a society already consumed with

Self-Alienation to Self-Adjustment: Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss

2370 words - 10 pages . The God of Small Things is the story of the fraternal twins, Estha and Rahel and their unhappy, fractured family. Both the children experience a sense of alienation from their family. As children of “a divorced daughter from an intercommunity love marriage,”(Roy 45) they had no rights in their grandparents’ rigid, caste-conscious, orthodox, patriarchal, Syrian-Christian family in the rural town of Ayemenem in Kerala. The story of the novel is

The God of Small Things

964 words - 4 pages resemble the trauma that man aroused in Estha, Roy mentions such random events and words. Roy takes up classic material, but she delights in verbal innovation and stylistic tricks. Roy´s verbal exuberance is all her own, and it makes "The God of Small Things" a real pleasure. Her attention to detail brings the Kerala landscape alive, and is clearly appreciated in her ability to evoke the world of children in the well-chosen or invented little

The God of Small Things

1221 words - 5 pages ruler. They have to obey the laws set up by the government. So, theirs lives are actually controlled by the foreigners and theoretically, they are properties of the foreign ruler. I think that colonial rule will create inferiority complex among the colonized people. Evidences can be found in the book "The God of Small Things". The book is set in India. India was defeated by Britain many centuries ago and then became a British colony

Imagined Communities in the God of Small Things, No Telephone to Heaven, and Burger's Daughter

1162 words - 5 pages sense of self identity, then how is it possible for Rosa to imagine herself as a member of any one community? The complication in this instance lies Rosa's struggle to escape her father's overbearing shadow. The last novel to be examined here is Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things. I would argue that it is the issues of class in this particular novel that complicates the imagined community which in this case would be the city of Ayemenem

The God of Small Things: A Plot Summary

1770 words - 7 pages Roy and Patriarchy - a rejoinder", originally an article appearing in Indian newspaper "Liberation" in January 1998, available at : (accessed 22/09/2004) Somak Halder "My View of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things", Postcolonial Web, (accessed 23/08/2004) Tirthankar, Chandra "Sexual/Textual Strategies in The God of Small Things" in

The God of Small Things: Lessons of History

1921 words - 8 pages all about a timeless and universal appeal of the human element the work contains. The author of The God of Small Things is, at the very outset it is clear, very keen on not being held up by the question of time. The novel is set in a timeless and, one dares suggest, spaceless dimension. The subtle irony in the introduction of the time element should not be missed. It all began with the arrival of Sophie Mol at Aymenen- that is, `for all

"The God of small things": reflection, caste system, boundaries and barriers, hierachy, partiarchal society - letter format.

1305 words - 5 pages Dear Velutha,I recently read The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy and was awfully touched by your story. Before I started reading The God of Small Things I knew very little about Indian society and history and consequently I found many of the themes and ideas of the novel intriguing as well as confronting. I was amazed to discover what a significant role the Caste System plays in Indian society and I was astounded by the negative impact is

Inspiration of Arundhati Roy to an Activist

4429 words - 18 pages . Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy: Two Talks by Arundhati Roy, with Howard Zinn. AK Press DVD Edition, 8/15/2004. Said, Edward. Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures. New York: Vintage Books, 1996. Sathyamala, C. “The Emperor’s New Clothes: The God of Small Things.” Arundhati Roy: The Novelist Extraordinary. Dhawan, R.K. Ed. London: Sangam Books, 1999. Sharma, B.P. and Dharam Vir. “Introduction.” The World of

The Two Forms of Love in the City of God by St. Augustine

1750 words - 7 pages : the heavenly city, or city of God. The city of God consists of the elect among humanity and of the holy angels, while the "city of men, or the earthly city, is made up of all those angels and humans who are completely against God. The two are categorized by their individual loves, whether it is love of God or love of self-distancing oneself from God. Unholy love or “earthly love” is analyzed by Augustine in different ways. By means of

The Power of Love in 10 Things I Hate About You and Taming of the Shrew

2362 words - 9 pages The Power of Love in 10 Things I Hate About You and Taming of the Shrew 'The Power of Love' is portrayed in various themes throughout both. Some of which depict superficial love, motivation by money and love-at-first-sight. These ideas can be contrasted and compared between the 1500 Elizabethan time of Shakespeare's play 'The Taming of the Shrew' and the present

Similar Essays

The God Of Small Things By Arundhati Roy

2647 words - 11 pages The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy In The God of Small Things the twin’s mother, Ammu, breaks the laws that lay down ‘who should be loved, and how and how much’ when she has an affair with Velutha (an Untouchable). A relationship with an Untouchable is inconceivable in India, even today, as a woman would be expelled from her Caste if she were to carry out such an undignified act. Before this occurs Ammu is already frowned upon

Corporeality Gender And Race Positioning: The God Of Small Things By Arundhati Roy

2823 words - 11 pages outcastes and the down castes. “Roy’s book is the only one I think of among Indian novels in English which can be comprehensively described as a protest novel. It is all about atrocities against minorities, Small Things: children and youth, women and untouchables” (Rao 12) The God of Small Things throws light upon hierarchical structures of power, oppression at various levels in patriarchical societies. Arundhati Roy explores how these differences of

Arundhati Roy’s The God Of Small Things

1384 words - 6 pages ” (445). From this perspective, Arundhati Roy’s Novel “The God of Small Things” focuses on the above-mentioned points. Roy, through the character of Ammu has portrayed, that the female sex is completely neglected in society. When Ammu makes the physical relationship with an untouchable man Velutha, their relationship exceeded to an extent that it came to be labeled as illicit. In this novel, it is found that both male and female are treated

Unique Cultures In Arundhati Roy’s The God Of Small Things And Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart

1995 words - 8 pages , or live in another culture to understand the culture. When reading “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy, and “Things Fall Apart“, by Chinua Achebe one must look beyond their culture to understand how others live in a different culture. When I read Roy’s novel, I did not get a great understanding of the novel, because it was difficult to follow. I did not know a lot about the culture before I read novel. Both text discusses a particular