The Manifestations Of Marxism In The God Of Small Things

815 words - 4 pages

Arundhati Roy’s novel The God of Small Things presents the reader with the realities of Marxism. Roy gives the reader an impression of three possible manifestations of the ideology, rather than presenting a biased reading for or against Marxism. Through Roy’s novel the reader comes to understand Marxism as it appears through Velutha, the oppressed worker, Chacko the Marxist-in-name only, and Comrade Pillai, the corrupt politician.
Comrade Pillai epitomizes the idea of a corrupt politician. During his first scene in the novel, Roy describes him as “walking through the world like a chameleon. Never revealing himself, never appearing not to. Emerging through chaos unscathed.” (Roy 15) ...view middle of the document...

Comrade Pillai resents the fact that Velutha is the only member of the Communist Party. Roy describes him as “the only snag in Comrade K. N. M. Pillai’s plans.” (Roy 115) Velutha status as an Untouchable causes him greater oppression and marginalization than the other workers at Pickles Paradise and Preserves. However, his status as an Untouchable that causes the workers to resent him, and thus makes Velutha an undesirable ally to Pillai, particularly as he is trying to win the votes of the workers. This act of shunning Velutha, the most oppressed character in the novel, further characterizes Comrade Pillai’s pseudo-Marxism.
Chacko represents the idea of a Marxist-in-name only. Chacko claims to be a Marxist, uses Marxist language, and to an extent believes in the ideas of Marxism, in practice he often falls short of truly Marxist principles.
Roy gives the reader a subtle indication of her opinion of factory-owning Marxists on page 64 of the novel: “in Kerala the Syrian Christians were, by and large, the wealthy, estate-owning (pickle-factory running) feudal lords for whom communism represented a fate worse than death.” (Roy 64) For Chacko, exhibiting true Marxist principles would not be profitable, nor even possible given his managerial position. Not only does the act of owning a factory itself go against Marxist principles, Chacko further flies in the face of...

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