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The God of Small Things - Making reference to Chapter 2 of the text, discuss how caste has impacts the lives of Roy's protagonists.

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Introduction

Tio Meng Samantha (19) 03A07 Literature: The God of Small Things Making reference to Chapter 2 of the text, discuss how caste has impacts the lives of Roy's protagonists. The system of caste in India is a bond of union, but splits up the society into sections. It revolves around the society's idea of what's "clean" and "pure". It exists not only in the form of Touchability and Untouchability but also gender difference and marital status. In Kerala, the setting for The God of Small Things, the caste system is deep-rooted; it has been made rigid by time and proliferated by the colonial rule. As a result, inevitably, the caste system greatly impacts the lives of the leading characters in the novel: Estha and Rahel, Ammu and Velutha. In my essay, I am going to explore the nature of the caste system and whom it affects. The revulsion of Untouchability is so inherent in the post-colonial society that even with the coming of the British, the untouchables in general were not only unable "to escape the scourge Untouchability". As Christians, "They were made to have separate churches, with separate services, and separate priests" and it was considered "a special favour (that) ...read more.

Middle

He caught fish in the river and cooked it on an open fire. He slept outdoors, on the banks of the river." When "Mammachi rehired Velutha as the factory carpenter and put him in charge of general maintenance", despite having disappeared mysteriously for four years, "It caused a great deal of resentment among the other Touchable factory workers because, according to them, Paravans were not meant to be carpenters. And certainly, prodigal Paravans [Velutha] were not meant to be rehired." For that, he had to be paid less than a Touchable carpenter. And finally, when Velutha transgressed the boundary of the caste, when he made loved to and loved Ammu, his father betrayed him offering "to kill his son with his own bare hands. To destroy what he had created" because of they are the Untouchables and they were not fit to be associated with and, nevertheless, love anybody of another class. The childhood of Estha and Rahel also had been greatly affected indirectly by the brutal discrimination of Untouchables. They adored Velutha but could not openly spend time with him because he is an Untouchable. ...read more.

Conclusion

graciously accepted". This resentment answers for the betrayal of Baby Kochama to Ammu further up in the novel that led to Ammu's tragic life. As a divorced woman, she had to secretly meet the man she love in the night. The twins were also considered "impure" because grew up in a family with Syrian Christian ancestry but a Bengali Hindu father. They fall between traditions and are afforded no real recognition as said in what the novel calls "Locusts Stand I" or legal standing. Baby Kochama, once again hated them for that. She called them "Half-Hindhu Hybrids whom no self-respecting Syrian Christian would ever marry." As a result, further on the novel, their lives were greatly affected by her. The caste system on the whole traumatizes and affects Roy's protagonist's life in an unhealthy way. It took away the twin's need to belong to someone and their identity and, later on the novel, their childhood. It cost Ammu her love and her freedom. It deprived Velutha of a bright future and somehow caused his death. This way, Roy is able to let the reader see the atrocities of the caste system in India and be more aware about the stereotypes the society made to "different" people. Two thumbs and two toes up for Roy! ...read more.

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