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 for being a
divorced woman, a common view in Indian society, and returns home with
her children. She is therefore thought of as a hindrance. Estha and
Rahel, the twins, manage to accept that they have no ‘Baba’ but are
greatly affected when their mother’s affair is revealed and the heroic
Untouchable is killed. Roy uses differentiated vocabulary and grammar
to inform the reader of the obvious change to the twin’s relationship
and alteration of their individual personalities before and after the
death of Velutha.

It is very important to note the structural complexity of The God of
Small Things. The events do not appear in chronological order except
when the twins are described after Velutha’s death. Roy decides to use
a linear structure for the twins after the death of Velutha, perhaps
to indicate the progressive reconstruction of their relationship.
Therefore by studying these sections of the novel where the twins are
mature one can refer to elements of the twin’s childhood and Roy’s use
of language to compare and contrast certain ideas whilst also giving a
clear representation of how the twins begin to re-establish their
relationship. It is also important to understand that the ‘fraternal
twins’ have an ‘emotional connection to one another that is stronger
than that of most siblings’ (Manorama Mathai). Therefore when Estha is
sent away Rahel feels as though she is losing a part of herself and
they both find it incredibly hard to maintain their fun-loving
personalities and sense of security that they once felt.

Just after Estha has been sent away, following Velutha’s death, Rahel
explains the hate that she feels towards her mother. An atmosphere of
sadness and unease is conveyed by Roy’s use of direct and honest
sentences that can be seen when Rahel is disgusted by the way her ill
mother is behaving and ‘She thought of phlegm and nearly retched. She
hated her mother then. Hated her.’ The italics used to emphasise
Rahel’s feelings make the word harsh and passionate; showing just how
despised Ammu was by her eleven-year-old ‘twin-egg’ child. The short
sentences heighten this idea of Rahel’s anger and the monosyllabic
words give a staccato and bitter feel to the phrase. This can be
compared to the children’s view of Ammu before the death of Velutha
when they are seven years old. Roy uses longer sentences, expressing a
more relaxed and pleasurable mood, when she states that the twins
‘loved the fact that the brown of the backs of their hands was the
exact brown of their...

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