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Commentary on "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy

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Introduction

Commentary on The God of Small Things The extract from The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is a descriptive extract with plenty of imagery about a ?grand old house?, known as Ayemenem House, where a lady called Mammachi lives. The extract is a continuous description of the house in no particular order, rather a random one i.e. Arundhati describes the roof, the doors and then goes back up to the verandah. This is done in no particular order and hence may represent the path the speaker took as he or she was exploring the Ayemenem House. Arundhati vividly describes the different aspects of the house with minute details and exceptional imagery in order to portray the uniqueness of the house. To begin with, the author?s first sentence in this extract tends to provide a general idea of house as she mentions that ?it was a grand old house?but aloof-looking?. The use of the word ?old? indicates that the house has been there for a long period of time and may be a historical house related to Mammachi?s family history. Similarly, the word ?aloof-looking? creates an image of the house being remote and distant, thus reflecting on the age of the house. The reader is immediately directed into believing that the house is old-aged and therefore the rest of the extract will be dull and boring due to the vocabulary ?old? and ?aloof-looking? that was mentioned in the first line. ...read more.

Middle

On the whole, although paragraph two tends to start and end in an unpleasant manner, it brings out the fact that no matter how old the house it, there are intriguing aspects of it. The author then describes the doors of the house and relates the descriptions to real-life situations of how ?ladies keep the bottom half closed?and bargain with visiting vendors?? This allows the readers to visualize the size of the doors and how they are used by the people. Furthermore, Roy creates a comical sense in the following sentence, whereby she says that the ladies would buy things ?with their breasts covered and their bottoms bare.? Similarly, the repetition of the word ?technically? tends to evoke a sense of sarcasm because of the stunning ideas the women of those days had. In addition to the description of the doors, the author uses plenty of minute details in describing the veranda. Primarily, the first sentence in paragraph four states, ?Nine steep steps led from the driveway?,? in this case, the steps could easily be referred to as simply ?steps? but the author decided to add more details to it and mentioned the number and gradient of the steps. The author then goes on and describes how the veranda is elevated, giving it a look of ?a stage? and she emphasizes this by mentioning that it looks so much like a stage that anything that took place on the veranda looked like a ?performance?. ...read more.

Conclusion

In addition to that, there are also very short paragraphs and sentences towards the end of the extract, for instance the last line has four to six worded sentences, which tend to emphasize the heat of the afternoon. In the same way, the personification of the air ?waiting? highlights the fact that it was very hot and the air was waiting to come out and cool things down, but it was too hot for the air to move. To conclude, the extract from The God of Small Things written by Arundhati Roy creates a very strong image of a big old house and the vocabulary used to describe it is very strong and informative. The body of the extract creates a big contrast with the beginning because it starts off with a very dull and unpleasant atmosphere with unattractive descriptions of the house and it eventually turns out into a very beautiful and calm house. In this case the reader tends to raise questions on whether the descriptions of the house are real and whether they actually apply to the house, considering the fact that the author started off by describing it as ?old?, ?aloof-looking?, ?dark? and ?mossy?. Alternatively, the speaker might have such a deep personal connection with the house that the unpleasant things are viewed as pleasant by the speaker. Overall, the speaker might be evoking the impression of ?old being gold?. ...read more.

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