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 many examples which shows breakdown of this law and unfortunately those who break this law is suffering and their love is not succeeded.
For example, Ammu’s, Chacko’s and Rahel’s love and marriage resulted to divorce. Also, Velutha’s and Ammu’s love is ended not with divorce but with the humiliation of power which lead his life to death. Estha and Rahel break this law by spending one night together when there was no one with them to understand them. 3. Question: Various dwellings are important to the unfolding of Roy's story—from the Kochamma house, to Kari Saipu's abandoned mansion, to Velutha's family's hut, to Comrade Pillai's small house, to the von Trapp house in The Sound of Music? How is each described?
To what extent does each embody or reflect the forces and burdens of history, social order, and custom? Answer:Baby Kochamma’s house, Kari Saipu’s house or the History House, all are various dwellings in the novel which plays significant role in the novel to reveal the ideas of the novel. Most of the noteworthy happened in the History House and Baby Kochamma’s house. Baby Kochamma, Chacko, Ammu, Rahel, Estha and Mammachi live in Baby Kochamma’s house. This house is of upper class family where untouchables are not allowed to come or touch anything of the house.
In the house, there are portraits of their ancestors which limit their thinking. These hanging portraits hang their minds to the old and conventional laws which do not allow them to accept new philosophies of equality, freedom and love. The television and ornaments of Baby Kochamma show her luxurious life and this also shows the influence of western culture. It was the room of this house where Ammu was closed when Mammachi found her affair with Velutha which ultimately resulted in the loss of two lives, first is Sophie Mol and the other one is of Velutha.
The History House shows a different world in the novel from the world of Baby Kochamma’s house. In the novel there is real History House but it also can be seen as a metaphorical house as well. The river between Baby Kochamma’s house and the History House shows the two different worlds on different sides. The History House shows Western society which was once a house of an Englishman. In this house social and love law are broken by twins, their Ammu and Velutha which are not possible in limited Baby Kochamma’s house because of caring of big things like society. 4.
Question: How does the river that flows through Ayemenem in 1969 differ from the river in 1992? What is its importance in the lives and histories of the two families and in the twins' childhood? Answer: The river that flows through Ayemenem in 1969 was natural and pure which used to combine two hearts, especially Velutha and Ammu’s hearts, but in 1992 this river changed to polluted river with lots of chemicals and other dirty stuff which can pollute the river. The river of 1969 plays important role in joining people but it also plays role to break the society’s laws. Also, it can be seen as a tragic river.
The river shows two different social classes and societies. One is about the untouchables and higher classes and the other one is about Indian society and Western society. It is like a boundary in the society. One society is very restricted and those restrictions are mainly getting freedom on the other side. For example, Velutha’s and Ammu’s love is forbidden on one side but they use to make love and break their society’s rules and love laws on the other side of the river. While at some points, the river acts a means to join two different houses of Velutha and Ammu it is sometimes acts as tragic river.
Sophie Mol comes nearer to the twins because of this river but this relationship lasts soon when she drowned in that river and the twins are blamed for it. The river eventually leads Velutha’s tragic death after he is accused of rape and kidnapping. The loss of Sophie Mol and Velutha are always fresh in the twins’ life. They were then separated and even faced loss of their own mother after few years. Thus the river is the culmination of loss and sad memories for two families and twins. 5. Question: To what extent are race, social class, and religion important?
What specific elements of each take on predominant importance, and with what consequences? How do the concept and the reality of "the Untouchable" function in the novel? Answer: In Ayemenem society race, social class and religion are very important and these elements distinguish the people in the society. Those who are at higher social classes are searching for power and reputation. Colour of the skin is more important than the qualities of the person. For example, Velutha is black but he is very talented carpenter and has other qualities but he is seen as a lower class person and untouchable.
Also, even though Margaret is a mere cafe waiter Chacko admires her. He is a Rhode scholar at Oxford but thinks Margaret as an important person. Thus, people are judged by their colour rather than their works. Baby Kochamma who is fond of Western society accepts Margaret because she is white and was the wife of her son. Sophie Mol is accepted and admired by each and every member of Ipe’s family because she is a daughter of white mother. Politics is also under those who hold power like Camarade Pillai. “The untouchable” is one of the ways in Ayemenem community to discriminate people.
Baby Kochamma hates Velutha because he is black and belongs to lower class family. She is antagonist of the novel because she is prejudice of caste system. For the sake of her reputation in the society, she gives wrong report in the police station about Velutha that he has raped Ammu and has kidnapped children, but later on when the truth is in front of everybody, she forces the wins to tell a lie about innocent Velutha. She chooses Velutha as her victim because he is from lower class and is an untouchable. This shows that untouchables’ lives are under control of those who are at higher classes in the society.
Velutha asked Camarade Pillai for help and Camarade Pillai does not help him because Velutha does hold image in the society because of his untouchability. His love making with Ammu is taken as a big sin and he is condemned to death for it. To maintain a family’s reputation a life is taken and his innocence is attacked by social and political power. 6. Question: Why does Roy switch back and forth among time present and various times past? Answer:‘The God of Small Things’ is written in non- chronological order, which makes the story mysterious and suspenseful.
In the beginning the ‘Loss of Sophie Mol’ indicates the horror part of the story. It stresses on an event repeatedly depending on Rahel’s memory. Non-chronological nature of the story shows that the life is full of past memories, events and emotions which affect the present life of the characters. By taking back and forth of the time, Roy is relating past and present of twins; linking how the same thing can be related to different individuals. This makes readers contemplate over the effect of someone’s past over his life. 7. Question: Is Time as destroyer the novel's most insistent theme?
How are the blue Plymouth, the pickle factory, Rahel's toy wristwatch (which always reads "ten to two"), the children's boat, and other objects related to this theme? Answer: Time as a destroyer can be taken as the most insistent theme in the way how society and people acted over time and their laws which ruled the society. The laws of 1960s lead to Sophie Mol’s and Velutha’s death and then to Ammu’s death. These deadly events happened mainly because of the societal laws. If there would not be restrictions in the love laws then these events would not happen.
Rahel’s toy wristwatch which always reads ten to two shows that the societal time is not changing over time. The society is not changing and it is carrying its laws and rules which gives birth to betrayals and discriminations. Due to betrayals and discriminations in the society, the events happened in the past are affecting present memory and actions of the characters, like love making of twins. 8. Question: "He was called Velutha-which means White in Malayalam-because he was so black;" and at age 11 he "was like a little magician. " What is the full extent of Velutha the Untouchable's role in the story?
Answer: Velutha’s name carries irony in it. Because his name means white in Malayalam but his skin colour is black or dark. His name disdains his dark colour and lower caste. Because he is untouchable, his talents are not seen as an extraordinary quality by the higher class members of the society as his untouchability is barrier to his talents. Velutha breaks the social ‘Love Laws’ by making love with Ammu. She was from a higher class and was not to be touched. Due to this he is condemned to death through unjust politics, laws and power. 9. Question: To what extent do even the most fantastical events result from everyday passions?
What feelings and passions are predominant, and how do they determine key events? Which emotions are strongest among the children, the adults? Answer: The story has different characters who belong to different societies, cultures and classes. Ammu, Velutha, Rahel and Estha and other characters in the story are doing different things according to their passions, cultures and views. As children, twins are exciting and different, which is evident in, “While other children of their age learned other things, Estha and Rahel learned how history negotiates its terms and collects its dues from those break its laws. They have invented language games and play it throughout the novel. They fight for their Ammu’s love and identity. They try to show their talents by reading the book backwards given by Miss Mitten. They try to obey their mother so that she would love them more. They found river and boat and which played important role in their lives to find freedom and enjoy their. They come to the river and boat with Sophie Mol when their Ammu scolded them. This shows that they recognise river and boat as place where they can escape.
It also leads to their connection of ‘untouchables’ with ‘touchable’ which leads to love of Ammu and Velutha. Their love is responsible for the life of Velutha and it separates the twins from their father figure Velutha and their and this distressing memories haunt them throughout their life. When the twins grown up and Estha is re-returned from his father, twins again meet in the loneliness of their lives. Their loneliness gives birth to sexual affinity. Their closeness and love for each other does not limit in feeling but reached their physical needs as well. 0. Question: How does Roy portray the twins' extraordinary spiritual connection, their "single Siamese soul," the fragile, wonder-filled world of their childhood, their often magical vision, and their differences? Is her re-creation of the child's world convincing? Answer:Roy portrays the twins’ extraordinary spiritual connection, their "single Siamese soul," the fragile, wonder-filled world of their childhood, their often magical vision, and their differences through their different sexes and through the effect of one’s action and thoughts on the other.
This is evident in, “That the emptiness in one twin was only a version of the quietness in the other. That two things fitted together. Like staked spoons. Like familiar lovers’ body” . They are fraternal twins and this can be one of the reasons that why they are so close to each other. Even though they are twins and are two different individuals but it looks like as they are sharing one soul in their bodies. It can be seen from Rahel’s opening of door when Estha comes without knocking it.
Their closeness or sharing of one soul which results to the birth of same feelings and emotions in two different bodies can be seen as, “They thought of themselves as Me, and separately, individually, as We or Us. As though they were a rare breed of Siamese twins, physically separate, but with joint identities. ” They even go beyond the common beliefs of society that fraternal siblings cannot make love. They not only fulfil each other’s need for love but also complete the course of love by sharing their bodies’ with each other physically. The re-creation of child’s world seems to be convincing.
Roy displays the twins as adventurous and peculiar in their nature. Their wonder-filled world of their childhood and their often magical vision displayed with language games like palindromes, anagram and backward reading which display their intelligence and glad nature and this helps readers to get engaged in the story. However, the tragedies are arisen from their magical visions. For example, their vision of History House and river resulted to Sophie Mol’s death and death of Velutha which affected the twins mind a lot in their innocent childhood.
This show how fragile is the mind of children and the effect of events that feared them throughout their life. 11. Question: What importance does Roy ascribe to story, storytelling, and playacting, including the Kathakali dances and stories? To what extent is the telling of a story more important than the story itself? Answer: ‘The God of Small Things’ is in non- chronological order which shows that there is no particular beginning and ending of the story. In the story Rahel is telling her childhood story and other stories about her family. The fact that it bounces back and forth the time shows how significant past is in the present life.
The allusions to several stories play crucial role to explore the themes of the novel like male dominance and post-colonialism. The Kathakali dances shows the unreliability of the appearance of a person as the person is playing a female role in the dance goes to his house and beats his wife which shows the male dominance. Also, it gives glimpses of Indian history and culture behind the curtain of Anglophilic society through stories like Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book . An indication to William Shakespeare’s The Tempest makes it clear to readers that Roy is really engaged in making people aware of their ground and history. 2. Question: In what ways are the Kochamma women subjected to male dominance, indifference, and even cruelty, and in what ways are they decisive in their own lives, the life of their family, and the affairs of their community? Answer:In the male dominance society, only male has political, social and familial power, women are always dominated and have not rights like males in the society. It does not matter to which class the women belong to; they are dominated by the male. Kochamma are from higher class but they do not have their own legal and social identity. They have to follow males.
Pappachi always beats his wife and forbids her to take piano classes because it can make her more talented than him which shows that male always want to be superior in the society. Ammu is belittled by Chacko as he says that she has no locusts’ standi. She did not owe anything from her parents’ properties. This can be seen in, “Little Ammu. Who had to pack her bags and leave. Because she had no Locusts Stand I. Because Chacko said she had destroyed enough already. ” Her life is totally changed because eof her brother’s decision and she does have right to go against it.
The discrimination between a son and a daughter was prominent in the book. Ammu’s says, ‘All Indian mothers are obsessed with their sons and are therefore poor judges of their abilities ’, this shows that sons are more favoured than daughters. For example, Mammachi and Baby Kochamma always favour Chacko because he is a son. Though Baby Kochamma and Mammachi are female themselves and have subjected to male domination but they too implied domination and discrimination on Ammu. Women make decisions in the story but these decisions are mostly not favourable in their latter lives because these do not have happy endings.
For example, Baby Kochamma falls in love with Father Mulligan but her decision of loving result to her unmarried life throughout her life. Ammu does love marriage but it resulted to divorce. Ammu is ill-treated by her husband. He is ready to let another man to sleep with her for his sake. It is like exchanging his wife for his advantages. It shows that women were considered as a matter of possession but not as wife and their love. Finally she leaves him as she cannot withstand that humiliation. This saves her from one control but it makes her vulnerable as a divorced wife especially from a love marriage are not accepted in the society.