Symbolism- We use symbolism in order to portray something as a visual, or, to give it a certain meaning. Roy uses symbolism throughout her book; the use of symbolic concepts in her writing adds meaning to the story, it adds to the themes of book and ties past events to present ones. You will understand the story more if you can identify the recurring themes/objects and see how they apply. Water, twins, emotions, locations, these are all things that Roy plays with, in her book The God of Small Things.
Time- Time flows, swirls, merges like water, like a river. It rushes by before you notice; it sneaks up behind you without uttering a word. Past, present, future. Rahel once believed that whatever number she wrote on her toy watch would be true; “Rahel’s toy wristwatch had the time painted on it. Ten to two. One of her ambitions was to own a watch on which she could change the time whenever she wanted to (which according to her was what Time was meant for in the first place)” (37). Roy wrote The God of Small Things in a nonlinear fashion; time jumps around and goes from the perspective of Rahel as a 7-year-old to 20 years later in a matter of a sentence. Likewise, time changes form, there isn’t really a past, present, and future, it’s all within the life of the twins, it flows together as waves, as ripples, the same concept just in different appearances.
Water- The river, in The God of Small Things, plays an important role in the story. It physically represents ...
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...is feeling happy and loved, the moth will lift itself away from her heart; “‘You’re welcome, my sweetheart,...’” (131) Ammu had told Rahel, “...but sadly” (131). After hearing this, Rahel felt happy and “The moth on Rahel’s heart lifted a downy leg. Then put it back” (131). The moth puts it’s leg back when Rahel remembers that her mother loves her a little less.
Symbolism is important. It guides a reader through complex situations that may appear to be unrelated to each other. Symbols can remind you of things that have happened that still affect characters/setting etc. Roy uses symbols to guide us through a nonlinear story; these recurring objects and concepts help us know where we are in the story and to remind us of what happened, or what has yet to happen. Roy both adds a layer of complexity to her story as well as gives clarification with most of her symbolism.
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