The God Of Small Things Arundhati Roy Analysis

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Arundhati Roy: The God of Small Things This prose piece by Arundhati Roy written in 1997 raises critical questions about the British legacy in the colonial exploitation and suppression of India. Throughout the extract and through the story of an “Anglophile family”, Arundhati Roy examines the loss of Indian culture and identity. The enigma of the title - who is this God, what is this God? - suggests the insignificance of the Indian culture in comparison to the British. Yet the association of the “small things” with the word ‘God’ reinforces a hope for the preservation of the Indian culture. The first “small things” the reader is introduced to, are the cuff-links. Not only symbols of Western opulence and corruption, they also metaphorically suggest restrainment. The awe with which the twins then regard these cuffs, the “affection for the English language” and the “logic” of English, introduces the main theme of language. This theme of language yet also acts as a restrainment for Indian families. The English language stands as the embodiment of the English identity, imposing upon Indian identity. Language is hence presented as a medium to assert one’s identity, but also as a controlling, manipulatory factor. For…show more content…
To link this to the erasure of the sense of self, Arundhati Roy concentrates on the imagery of “The History House”. So crucial to the loss of identity, she emphasises this house through the suspense of the description, with the climax occurring by the isolation of the words in a new paragraph. Chacko begins by comparing history to an “old house at night […] with ancestors whispering inside”. He therefore clearly associates history with cultural traditions: “to understand history, […] we have to go inside and listen to what they’re saying. And look at the books and the pictures on the walls. And smell the
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