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The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

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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 ...


... middle of paper ...


...ualised twins and in this way recognise in what way these
characters have changed.

It is certainly true that ‘the great pleasure of The God of Small
Things flows from its language’ (Wood). Roy’s use of words, images and
symbols makes us constantly compare the younger and older relationship
of the twins so we can understand its development and the change that
occurs. It appears that the twins are attempting to regain what they
once had and are able to mysteriously feel each other’s presence once
again by the end of the novel. However, whether they manage to reunite
and overcome the separation that occurs is left ambiguous. The only
way that they would be able to rectify what they once had is if they
realised that they are ‘not the sinners. You’re the sinned against.
You were only children. You had no control. You are the victims, not
the perpetrators.’

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