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The Story and Literary Impacts of The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things can be termed as the family drama novel which is written by Arundhuti Roy, a renowned Indian writer. It is the debut novel that is composed by Roy. It is the story regarding the experiences of a child about the fraternal twins, the life of whom got destroyed by the “Love Laws” which lays down the way and the manner he must be loved. Arundhuti Roy’s The God of Small Things was enquired regarding the literary impacts (Tickell 2020). The main aim of this essay is to develop exploration regarding the different kinds of love like platonic, romantic, and familial in the God of Small Things which is written by Arundhuti Roy. In this essay, it is to illustrate the way Roy’s love related representation develops contribution regarding the meaning of the novel. 

On the publication of the first novel of Arundhuti Roy, the God of Small Things became a global bestseller. It won the Booker Prize and achieved an optimal position for Indian culture and literature within the arts and is divided by the concepts regarding cultural viewpoints (Tickell 2019). The God of Small Things was the first book of Roy. The novel can be termed as a disjointed narrative, when the fraternal twins got reunited. In the God of Small Things, the experience of genuine love can be done on the verge of society (Redondo 2020). The transgression regarding Love Laws are performed numerous times and in varied ways in the novel because the characters such as Vahel, Ammu, Estha and Velutha do not mind while taking love related risks, getting opened up to the alterity, unworking the society by encountering the aspects of finitude (Redondo 2020). The Love Laws are the regulations which are structuring the systems of caste, the patriarchal community of India, caste system and social exclusion (Redondo 2020).

The God of Small Things is all about the love aspects. The novel puts it directly on the table, with the repeated invocation regarding the Love Laws that dictate the people that must be loved and the extent to which they should be provided with love. The concept of love and regulations are incessantly butting heads in the concerned novel. It can be seen that the love between Velutha and Annu is forbidden due to their caste contrasts. The expression regarding Estha and Rahel’s love is done in the physical manner at the end of the novel, which generates the outcome developing a taboo of insistence. 

Love emerges in several forms in the God of Small Things. However, it is the most significant at the time it crosses the division between society and duty. In the novel, Velutha is regarded as an untouchable character by society and the family (Bano 2021). Light is thrown by this novel on certain crucial aspects regarding life such as the way love is always connected with sadness, the viewpoints of an individual in their childhood and the entire life (Bhat 2017).

Velutha is the servant of the family and is highly adored by her children, Rachel and Estha. Ammu finally falls in love with a person who is termed as untouchable (Bano 2021). This forbidden pattern of love story is the core of the novel. When the family of Ammu became informed regarding the love affair of their daughter with a family servant who is untouchable, and out of extreme anger, they made Velutha accountable for it (Bano 2021). The relationship bereft of love is brought to light by the particular novel (Bhat 2017). Velutha was tremendously punished and Ammu was left with no one by her side and she died because of her sickness with the presence of none around her. The cogent postulation of Roy vis-a-vis the role that is played by love in the form of a panacea associated with all the cultural as well as social inequalities as well as ills (Almwajeh et al. 2020).  In this manner, the love affair of them encounters a tragic ending with the disastrous ending of the two people who were struggling to mend the life of each other with their love (Bano 2021). Ammu was leading a loveless life and at that very moment, she received love from Velutha that made her least care regarding her family and the community (Bano 2021). Against the patriarchal and hierarchical structures, the rift between others and self is overcome by love, thus disrupting the ideologies that are associated with abstraction, exploitation and polarisation, as it blurs the associated demarcations regarding class, gender and caste (Almwajeh et al. 2020). Ammu, just cared about the love that is required by women in their life. However, this gained unacceptance from the society and because of it they were met with a catastrophic end. The brother of Ammu, Chacko also faces a tragic life (Bano 2021).

Types of Love in The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Chacko was sent to Oxford for studying where he became friends with Margaret. Chacko fell in love with Margaret and thus married her. However, after their daughter Sophie took birth, they got seperated. Though he got detached from his wife, Chacko married another woman, but Chacko still loved Margaret (Bano 2021). The love of Chacko for his ex-wife as well as their daughter was selfless and also unconditional. However, it was found to be unrequited since Joe was loved by both of them, who were the second husband of Margaret (Bano 2021). The twins, Rahel and Estha, ended in love making that is far beyond the pure connectivity between sister and brother (Bano 2021).  Therefore, the novel discloses the history’s cruel manner of taking revenge on individuals who break the so-called “love laws” (Asghar, Ahmed and Fatima 2020). The novel sheds light on the deep rooted prejudices regarding the caste systems which are nurtured by the population (Asghar, Ahmed and Fatima 2020). The novel is a kind of journey through the history of India, highlighting the obligations of love, betrayal and discrimination. 

The unorthodox preferences of Ammu as a woman and the unceremonious return of her to the parental house turned her to be outcast from the society (Mirza 2018). Behind the story associated with the unfortunate lovers, the familial story and the ruined childhood, is same with the characters related to Greek tragedies. The novel provided constant hints regarding the complicated political and societal issues in India in the recent past (Vallasek 2018). The unusual love affair of Ammu made her to get abolished from her family and at the end of the story; she was left dead alone at the age of 31 in a gloomy house. The particular novel highlights the marginalisation associated with three generations of women in the Syrian Christian Keralian family who were found to be highly orthodox (Banu 2017).

These 3 women are Mammachi, who develops representation regarding an old generation of women. Ammu is the second and Rahel is the third generation belonging from the same family. These are the three women who are placed in a forceful manner to the societal margin and they are deprived regarding their human rights by the society which is male dominated. It can be analysed that the social institutions such as family, are the crucial factors behind the development of marginalisation (Banu 2017). The inhuman activity that is conducted by Ammu’s father develops clear demonstrations regarding family marginalisation by being violent. The God of Small Things is actually regarding a family and portrays the original image of the downtrodden (Prema 2021). The most remarkable aspect regarding the novel is that the narration of it is done along with candidness as well as detached objectivity (Prema 2021).

However, Rahel is found to be devoid of conventional familial love and she survives with dishonour due to mixed parentage, equally regarding the religion as well as separate states of survival (Yousuf and Sheikh 2017). The marginalisation that is encountered by Ammu is all due to the familial structure where unwelcome was always done to the female child and they are treated similar to burden in the family. However, Chacko, who is the brother of Ammu, was provided with every opportunity in each and every strata regarding family life. After Ammu accomplished her schooling, she was not permitted to attain further education (Banu 2017). On the other hand, Chacko was sent to Oxford University to get higher education. These dual characteristics of the family can be termed as the prime factor behind the occurrence of marginalisation. It is also represented by the story that a divorced woman has no place as well as respect in her conventional family (Banu, 2017). Therefore, the family members of Ammu were found to be neglectful, unfriendly and hostile to Ammu and the children of her. At the end, it is found that Ammu got exiled from her family. Arundhuti Roy bitterly criticised social institutions such as family that is the accountable criteria behind the development of marginalisation in the community (Banu, 2017). Thus, it can be stated that mutual respect and understanding for each other, familial environment and the balanced cultural development is important to be attained (Yousuf and Sheikh 2017). 

Forbidden Love and Its Impacts on Characters

Romantic, platonic, sexual and familial love connectivity’s in the God of Small Things has turned to become perverted, destroyed and intermixed by the aspects of social politics. These social politics comprise the novel’s primary focus associated with religion and caste and underneath the surface; a role is played by politics like gender. It is observed by Plato from the above mentioned points that the status of women in the ancient period was not certain (Bharathi and Vadivelmurugan 2019). At times, it was found to be high and at other times it was low. However, in recent times, women have demonstrated their competence in every ground and at times, excelled men (Bharathi and Vadivelmurugan 2019). Sexual love, romantic love and desire are generally viewed as the categories that are different from familial love. The familial love connectivity comprise of parent to child as well as sibling to sibling which lacks the sexual aspects as they are platonic in nature. However, when the family acts in the form of agent in the state for the enforcement of social politics, intermingle occurs in these demarcations. Plato proposes the model regarding an erotic educational connectivity which contributes the fundamental regarding the aspect that is understood as “platonic love” (Bose and Sen 2018).

Baby Kochamma ensures the representation regarding the first generation who had taken birth in pre-Independence. When Rahel gets back to Ayemenem, it is found by her that her grand aunt, Baby Kochamma is still alive, however her Ammu is not. Ammu had died at the age of thirty one. Plato identified kindness and love as two of the strengths in men (Pham and Bui 2021). In her young days, Baby Kochamma fell in love with Father Mulligan, who was a Roman Catholic. The platonic connectivity between Father Mulligan and Baby Kochamma did not fructify to the marriage. Baby Kochamma went to Madras with the objective to be a nun and with the aim to be close to her lover, but that desire went in vain. Plato provides a lot of significance to prove the organic characteristics of the globe (Karnad et al. 2020). The unaccomplished love of Baby Kocchamma might have made her heartless and cruel in her treatment with Ammu. In the novel, it can be seen that Ammu can be regarded as the worst sufferer. Of the society that is male dominated, Ammu is seen to be the worst sufferer. Plato has a very strong viewpoint regarding women. 

Conclusion 

To conclude, it can be stated that the type of love which the author tried to express in the God of Small Things novel, is explored in an effective manner. Exploration regarding familial, romantic and platonic love is done. The focus is particularly done in the way each of the above mentioned features or themes have developed contribution to highlight the meaning of the novel. It demonstrates the way by which Arundhuti Roy’s representation regarding love in all types, is dedicated to the novel’s meaning.

References

Almwajeh, M.O., Alshehab, M.H., Almwajeh, M.O. and Alshehab, M.H., 2020. Correcting the Wrongs of the Past: Ethics of Love and Continuity Countering the Abstraction and Erasure of the Other in Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things. The Asian ESP Journal, p.88.

Asghar, M. A., Ahmed, M., and Fatima, S. (2020) A Study of Marginalized Groups in Our Lady of Alice Bhatti and The God of Small Things.

Bano, S., 2021. Arundhati Roy’S “The God Of Small Things” Theme, Narrative Technique And Critical Appreciation. Anglisticum. Journal Of The Association-Institute For English Language And American Studies, 10(10), Pp.11-23.

Banu, S. (2017) N. Marginalization Of Women In Arundhati Roy’S The God Of Small Things.

Bharathi, S., and Vadivelmurugan, G. (2019). An exploration of the Indian women writers.

Bhat, M.I., Gender and Discrimination: Women’s Representation in The Novel The God of Small Things and Hollywood Movie The Avengers.

Bose, B., and Sen, R. (2018). Liberal Vertigo, Eros, and the University. Cafe Dissensus Everyday.

Karnad, G., Dattani, M., Narayan, R. K., and Roy, A. (2020)

Obma English Language And Literature Semester–Iii Paper–Ii–(30602) Indian Writing In English. Ma English Language And Literature Syllabus And Model Question Papers,6(5), 31.

Mirza, M. (2018). Intimacy Across Caste and Class Boundaries in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. In Dalit Literatures in India (pp. 287-300). Routledge India.

Pham, K. T., and Bui, D. X. (2021) The Philosophy of Nguyen Trai for the advancement of the Concept in Humanity.

Prema, V. (2021)

Social Injustice In Mulk Raj Anand’S Untouchable And Arundhati Roy’S The God Of Small Things. International Journal Of Multidisciplinary Researches, 49.

Redondo, M.V., 2020. Secrecy, Community and Counter-History in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things (1997). Complutense Journal of English Studies, (28), pp.75-82.

Tickell, A. (2019) ‘Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things: context and story structure’, in Gibson, J. (ed.) Realism. Milton Keynes: The Open University, pp. 311–44.

 Tickell, A., 2020. Postcolonial Fiction and the Question of Influence: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things and Rumer Godden. Postcolonial Text, 15(1).

Vallasek, J. R. (2018). From Small Things to Big Symbols. Transgressability of Borders in Arundhati Roy’s Works. Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory, 4(2), 161-174.

Yousuf, M., and Sheikh, S. A. (2017) Gender Polarity and Domestic Affairs: A Study of The God of Small Things.

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