Essay about The God of Small Things

5227 Words Oct 2nd, 2013 21 Pages
Agustín Reyes Torres

Roy’s Inglish in The God of Small Things: A Language... 195

ROY’S INGLISH IN THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS: A LANGUAGE FOR SUBVERSION, RECONCILIATION AND REASSERTION1
Agustín Reyes Torres, Universitat de València
Email: agustin.reyes@uv.es

Abstract: In The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy separates English from Englishspeakers. She reappropriates the language not only to portray complex characters and narrative themes, but also to create a postcolonial discourse that criticizes, questions and subverts the old dominance of the imperial colonizer. Mainly addressed to a western audience, the use of Inglish in this novel is a crucial factor to reveal the development of a hybrid conscience, reassert the Indian
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Date of reception: 11 June 2011 Date of acceptance: 29 November 2011 Odisea, nº 12, ISSN 1578-3820, 2011, 195-204

196 Agustín Reyes Torres

Roy’s Inglish in The God of Small Things: A Language...

This serves as the prime postcolonial facet of the novel; the reader is shown what it is like to have English imposed. The author’s unique style is often interpreted as undermining the dominance of accepted norms of English grammar with its linguistic acrobatics (Volkmann 2008: 463), thus contributing to the novel’s harsh exposure of the persevering inÀuence of colonialism. Roy’s ¿rst novel can be set in the wider tradition of what is often called Indo-Anglian writing, one of several terms for Indian writing written in English. This tradition spread ¿rst after its establishment as the language of the Indian Civil Service and thus of the administration and maintenance of Empire. The rise of the Indian novel in English, however, is linked particularly to the generation of authors writing in the 1930s which included Raja Rao and R.K Narayan. Decades later, it would be followed by writers as various as V.S. Naipaul, Amitav Ghosh, Anita Desai, Salman Rushdie and Vikram Chandra among others. Today Indo-Anglian

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