The God Of Small Things Analysis

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Arundhati Roy’s novel, The God of Small Things, tells the tragic story of how a series of unfortunate events entraps a set of fraternal twins, Esthappen and Rahel, into a cycle of guilt and trauma caused by the haunting memories of their role in the demise of an innocent man. Interspersed with various references to theatrical plays – Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, The Tempest, and predominantly the traditional Indian dance-drama – Kathakali, the performativity of the narrative gradually unravels itself through the active interaction between the readers and the narrative’s fragmented form. Using Wolfgang Iser’s theory of successful communication in literature, defined as “a mutually restrictive and magnifying interaction between the explicit and the implicit,” (Wolfgang Iser 1676) the novel demonstrates how the…show more content…
Just like how the narrative does not provide the readers with any closure to the story, ending it midway at the forbidden love story that ultimately sparked the series of unfortunate events, Estha and Rahel are unable to lay down their guilt and exorcize the memories that haunt them (191). Until the readers rereads the story from beginning again, allowing the twins their rights to redress their roles and wear the “hood of victimhood”, will the twins then be freed from their cycle of guilt and trauma. Through the use Wolfgang Iser’s reader response critical theory in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, the novel demonstrates how the readers’ dyadic interaction with the performativity of the narrative is crucial to the release of the innocent character’s entrapment in the metadiegetic narrative embedded in the
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