An Analysis Of Arundhati Roy 's ' The God Of Small Things ' Essay

1392 Words 6 Pages
Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things is a story about trauma. Told through a series of nonlinear flashbacks, the reader learns of the effects of the event known as “The Terror” long before the narrative reveals its causes. As the novel progresses, the reader is able to piece together not only the events which directly lead to the death of Sophie Mol (and Velutha) and the emptiness and quietness of the twin main characters, Rahel and Estha, but also the societal and cultural systems at play which informed the environment in which these tragedies took place. These systems, in turn, were constructed and reconstructed by the overarching, pervasive trauma of colonialism. In Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman discusses how trauma disrupts identity and self-image and while Herman focuses primarily on the individual, these principles can also be seen in the effects of larger-scale trauma on the people who have suffered under it. The trauma of imperialism and colonialism, for instance, has altered the social, political, and cultural identities of Indian people and society and has allowed the personal tragedies that take place in the lives of the main characters of The God of Small Things to occur.
A traumatic event overwhelms the victim’s “ordinary systems of care that give people a sense of control, connection, and meaning” (Herman 33) and evokes a sense of fear and terror that does not subside once the traumatic event has passed. According to Herman, trauma is “an affliction of…

Related Documents