The God Of Small Things Character Analysis

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In an Indian Society, can love and family transcend the caste system, that which separates people into separate classes? The caste system has been in India for thousands of years. It has been legally outlawed but still has pull in society to this day. In Roy’s book the theme is that society is an ugly thing. Love and family are unable to triumph over the class boundaries. Ammu and Velutha, like many others who have tried to love across classes end up paying a heavy price. In The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy she develops the story and leads us to the theme through three literary elements. Roy uses the way she develops her characters, the setting the authors point of view to get us a clear image of the theme
Real characters have a way
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The setting of this book, which is in India from the 1960’s to around 2000, conveys a great deal of information. First, it tells us how the society works. Indian society is based on an ancient class system known as the caste system. Although the system had been outlawed, it still holds a tight grip on society. This caste system and separation of classes helps to set the groundwork for the theme in the book by creating conflict. Further, the setting tells us about the people. In India, family is very important, from the nuclear family all the way to extended family. As in many societies, there is a catch to this, which we get to see in the book. Image in The God of Small Things has a hold on society. Ammu’s family also value image more than their love and respect for each other. When Ammu and Velutha make love, they bring shame to their families (at least that’s how Baby Kochamma sees it). Baby Kochamma even thinks to herself that, “Baby Kochamma resented Ammu, because she saw her quarreling with a fate that she, Baby Kochamma herself, felt she had graciously accepted… She had managed to persuade herself over the years that her unconsummated love for Father Mulligan had been entirely due to her restraint and her determination to do the right thing.” (44-45). Here we see Kochamma feeling almost jealous of the love that Velutha and Ammu had because she never had …show more content…
Since this book is told from 3rd Person omniscient, we get to see into everyone’s mind, which helps get a fuller and richer grasp of the theme. The 3rd person component really helps in picturing some of the scenes, such as when Esta is molested and when Ammu and Velutha make love; this give us vivid examples of the theme of love, twisted or not. The omniscient part of the point of view helps us to get into the thoughts of some of the characters. We see some thinking from Rahel when the book states, “She wondered what had caused the bald pilgrims to vomit so uniformly, and whether they had vomited together….” (59). This is just a good example of how the third person omniscient view helps us to get into the characters head at any time. The thought doesn’t necessarily pertain to anything important but is the “narrator” giving us insight on what a single character is thinking. It also comes into effect when Esta gets molested we get to see his thought’s. His inner disgust with himself and his shame with which he tells no one of. He tells no one because he fears that they may view him through a bad lens. We also get to see how Rahel feels toward her family and toward her brother which helps us get some of the societal views. With a mix of point of view, along with setting and character we get to come to a full understand of the well-developed theme of image.

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