The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy

By jenyjohn


The God of Small Things is a novel written by the famous write Arundhati Roy. This was her first novel and has won the Booker prize in London 1997. this novel depicts about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins, whose lives were destroyed by the Love Laws, wherein it speaks about who should be loved and in what proportion. The novel depicts of how small things in life, affect people’s lives and behavior.

The story revolves in a small town named Ayemenem, now a part of Kottayam in Kerala. The story speaks about two fraternal twins Rahel and Estha from their age of 7 in 1969 till they reunite when they turn to be 31 in 1993. Most of the story is written at the viewpoint of the seven year olds. In this novel, she has captured the caste system, communism and the Syrian Christian life in Kerala.

The novel begins with the story of a lady (Ammu) who desperately wants to get away from her ill-tempered father and finally she gets away to stay with her aunt in Calcutta and there she marries a man, who assists in the tea estate. But her marriage was unsuccessful and she returns back home with her twin children, Estha (boy) and Rahel (Girl). On her return, apart from her mother and brother, they have their aunt ( Baby) who is her father’s sister staying with them. Ammu`s brother gets married to an English women whom he fell in love with at college and they have a daughter named Sophie. The novel revolves around these characters and the life they live and disaster that follow in their lives.

The next part of the story talks about events that had serious disasters in the family and the betrayals faced by almost each member in one way or the other. Small Estha was molested by a lemon vendor, when he went for a movie, where the experience had left him with fear almost through out his life. Next , the story speaks about an untouchable ( Velutha ) who has mistakenly been targeted for revenge and how he has to undergo many hardships. Even though the kids had a good relationship with this untouchable, they were forced to betray him, when it was found that he and their mother were in serious relationship. Because the relationship was caught, a lot of commotion happened in the family and the children decide to get away. But again Unfortunately, their co-sister( Sophie ) dies in the journey and again the two twins are being blamed.

The situation changes when the aunt ( Baby ) purposefully logs in complaint with the police that the untouchable guy is responsible for the loss of the child and on a detailed search, it was clear that he had nothing to do. But since he was an untouchable and since the aunt wanted to save her face, the kids were prompted to give fake evidences to the man they loved the most, resulting in the death of Velutha in the police station due to brutal treatment. Because of these scenarios, the twins had to get separated and the boy was sent to be with his father and the girl with the mother. However, years after when they meet, they realize that there is no better person to understand them other than each other for them.

Because of the deeds that they had to do, they were haunted by their guilt and had led their lives so hollow. The novel clearly gives a depiction about the caste system, the betrayal and lost of trust among each other, the hopes in small things and the positive attitude where even when you know the little happiness will not last long.

A beautiful Novel, which leaves the reader in thoughts for many days and a good lesson to be learnt from it.