Having won the 1997 Booker prize, Arundhati Roy’s debut novel “The God of Small things” is a pure literary work that confounds and entices its readers in equal measure; as each chapter of the book springs new meaning to the contexts and words are loaded with emotions. Based on Roy’s childhood, it is said to be a semi-autobiography.
Arundhati Roy is an Indian bewitching author-cum-rights activist. She has always been a gripping fabulator who describes impotence and potency of male-dominated society through her all grounds of writing, be it fictional or non-fictional. In all likelihood, her social activism is underscored in all her works.
“God of Small Things” is a finest novel of Roy launched on April 14, 1996, in Delhi. It is an acknowledged fiction in which Roy’s social activism sees the light of day. “This novel is indeed a note presupposed to be based on Roy’s enervated life.”
Roy’s novel converses her experiences, settings, events and incidents throughout her novel. This novel portrays Indian-British colonial society and submerged religious doctrines to social orthodox which are the core subjects to discussion in the book. “It is not a book about India alone”, said Roy “It is a book about human nature.”
Roy always opposes the slapdash democracy of India and highlights very matters that any ordinary man is apprised along with that sufferings, scourges and violence, too, are the subjects to her scribe. The book’s narrative swings to the political contexts of India in the late 1960s. Roy’s works always entrap corruption in human history and the obscure depiction of the contemporary era. Right from the early pages, Roy discloses small clues to the key occasions of the story, travelling backwards and onwards in time.
I dived into Arundhati Roy’s illustrious book, The God of Small Things, in 2020. Of all the reasons why descrying this book was glorious, ascertaining her literary style tops the list and Roy’s writing is uplifting.
This book of Roy is an epic and grand story about twins growing up in India, and the bits of life that change their course as the twins are upgrown in India with a single mother. They outstrip at the art of childhood. The twins of Ammu, Rahel and Esthappen, are elded with disparity in the society who suffer inequality-cum-unjust.
The outlawed love story of Ammu and Velutha halts all the love laws and drifts beyond the dusk of life. Ammu belongs to an immensely well-regarded caste in India whereas Velutha is a Dalit who in the society pursues curve to inhabit in. Nonetheless, Velutha is next to no care and the man, who leaves no footprints, is viciously brought to death. Roy shapes questions after witnessing circumstances of assassinating an innocent man with no wrongdoing at all.
The God of Small Things fetches the realities in forth that people belonging to Velutha, are indulged in Marxist party to wrangle capitalism. While coming across to its very chapters, the thought-provoking questions are responded and diverse questions are popped up to for-seek the answers. The novel swaps around three generations of a Keralite Syrian Christian family lodging near Cochin [Aka Kochi] in southern India. They are a self-destructed family, but formerly reputed and affluent.
Family matriarch, Mammachi spent much of her life in submission to violent and ill-humored husband who takes out his frustration at how his life turned out on her. Their estate gradually solded-off over years as after they started a small business. Similarly, Baby Kochamma, now an old woman, is a two-faced instigator in the story, the unreciprocated affection in her youth has left her deeply bitter and she looks for opportunities. “The novel talks of rivers poisoned by World Bank loans and houses built with Gulf money” as Roy confers it with theories on the prevalence of communism support in Kerala.
In this novel Roy also talks about the decline of a once proud art form of the region Kathakali and describes the wretched destiny of Kathakali performer who no longer relishes the respect of the profession that had carried for centuries. Kathakali performers are all men and female roles are performed by them.
Conversely, racism, love, inequality, unjust and women sub-alternation are the foremost melodies of Roy that are discoursed in the novel and class distinction along with the impurity and superiority are fetched into notice. Though the social discrimination vie standing caste, color, skins and mainly racism are exposed and subject to Roy’s works. The lower class in India are marginalized and untouchable.
This way “The God of Small Things” is a factual image of women subalternity in the colonial Indian society and Ammu is the sole case in point in the novel who suffers torture the most in her early life and even after the marriage as her life is filled up with oppression and scathy.