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Commentary on The God of Small Things (P45-46)

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Introduction

This Commentary will attempt to analyse the underlysing attitudes, assumptions and values of the characters, especially Baby Kochamma in the passage of the novel ?The God of Small Things? by Arundhati Roy. The passage starts of with the imagery of Baby Kochamma sandwiched ?between Estha and Rahel?, ?on the back seat of the Plymouth? as if she is hiding from the truth and using the twins as a barrier. The truth of her actions, her character and her ideology about the twins. The preposition ?between? to describe her position represents her fear of being caught for her actions explored later on in the story. This is a foreshadowing of an all-important event within which Baby Kochamma plays a vital sinful and murderous role - murder not only of humans, but the theme of love. A dysfunctional family is portrayed through how she, the aunt of the twins, finds her niece and nephew a burden and a ?waif?. When Baby Kochamma sits in the back a hierarchy is presented in that more important people sit in the front and the trivial are uncomfortably placed at the back. ...read more.

Middle

She interrogates the negativity with intercommunity marriages and pleads for a more open-minded and rational society. Baby Kochamma looks down on Ammu for being a divorcee and the mother of twins. Ammu threw away what Baby Kochamma longs for - love. This is one reason for her hatred. Character development is seen when ironically Baby Kochamma ?was keen for them to realize that they (like herself) lived on sufferance?where they really had no right to be?. Baby Kochamma does not want the powerless twins to live in the house she conveniently believes is hers; what she does not realize is that the same rule applies for herself as well as the twins. Her selfish and careless attitude is emphasized on here as her true, materialistic colors are brought to the surface to the reader?s eyes. Later on, as she ?persuade[s] herself? that her unrequited love was actually entirely due to her own restraint and determination to do the right thing illustrates how she cannot accept the truth and has to fabricate a false image and perception of the truth to satisfy her own self. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Baby Kochamma ?grudged them their moments of high happiness?, it shows her jealousy. The fact that they can live freely, unlike her who has to live in the darkness due to her past. She finds it difficult to accept the fact that they live amongst happiness. The last paragraph of the passage relates to the theme of divide amongst social classes. The whole family is described to be a group of Anglophilians "trapped outside their own history and unable to retrace their steps? as they idolize western culture. When there are two flasks of water, boiled and bottled, with bottled being for those who live abroad, there is a juxtaposition of the value held by Indians in India and non-resident Indians. Racism is evident as British people are treated with more respect and admiration. For some characters, being solely an Indian doesn?t hold enough social position, power and definitely does not bring in much respect from a global perspective. The pronoun ?less? is repeatedly compounded with words, for example in ?Father Mulligan-less Baby Kochamma? and ?fatherless waifs?. In both scenarios, there is a man missing from the life of a woman. ...read more.

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