Questions and Answers for "The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy

Topics: Social class, Working class, Sociology Pages: 9 (3593 words) Published: March 14, 2012
1.Question: Who—or what—is the God of Small Things? What other names and what divine and earthly attributes are associated with this god? What—or who—are the Small Things over which this god has dominion, and why do they merit their own god? Does Roy's God of Small Things share attributes with any members of the Hindu pantheon?

Answer:Roy leads the readers to the small things in the big Indian society which is concerned with the caste system, political associations and social laws. Velutha is presented as the God of Small Things in the novel. In the novel, he is also presented with the names like an Untouchable, Paravan, The God of Loss and The God of Goose Bumps and Sudden Smiles. Velutha is the upholder of the world of sacred, untouchable secrets, whispers, overlooked pieces of reality, promises, sins, and other emotional creatures. These things are insignificant for other characters who seek for big significant things and are struggling for culturally significant ideals such as an honourable family and a noble political life. Though honourable family and noble political life is significant, it does not mean that the values for love and emotions can be considered as insignificant. Love and emotions are more natural than the big things in the society. Roy called Velutha as the ‘God of Small Things’ because he holds those characters which are considered as small things in the society but in natural way they play very crucial role to live natural life in the society.

2. Question: What are the various laws, rules, and regulations—familial, social, cultural, political, and religious—including "the Love Laws," to which Roy makes repeated reference? What sanctions are in place for those who obey or transgress? Are all the kinds of love presented in the novel equally covered by "the Love Laws"? Answer:‘The God of Small Things’ novel shows how social, familial, cultural, political and religious laws are more important than the natural laws in the big societies. Social laws have divided the human beings to different classes or categories. Those who belong to lower class families like Velutha are known as Untouchables means even though nature consider them as a human being and have equal rights but society does not accept this law and feel that it is a big sin to touch them. It can be seen from narrator’s narration I the navel which says, ‘Pappachi would not allow Paravans into the house. Nobody would. They were not allowed to touch anything that Touchables touched’. Also, there is racial discrimination in the society as well. For example, difference between whites and Indians. It is best illustrated here, ‘There would be two flasks of water. Boiled water for Margaret Kochamma and Sophie Mol, tap water for everybody else.’ Inspector Mathew who is male and English and is in upper class, behaves rudely with Ammu who is female and Indian. He sexually abuses her by tapping her breasts. It shows the society is dominated firstly by male and then by English persons or who are in upper class family. Also, Chacko suffers from racial discrimination when his English wife’s parents were disappointed after knowing that their daughter is going to marry an Indian. Apart from the class divisions, there are some laws among the same class. These laws are mainly concerned with the gender. In the society, women do not have right for parental property and she has to obey husband and any other male figure. Women cannot go against their husband. For example, Pappachi used to beat Mammachi and his daughter and he banned his wife to for piano classes, shows the power of male in the society and in the family. ‘Love Laws,’ which defines that who should be loved, how and how much. Love between two different classes, homosexuality and love between any family member, for example in between fraternal twins is not acceptable in the society. Those who break this law, have to suffer a lot and its punishment can lead to death. In the novel, there are so...
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