Hope is left: The God of Small Things and how Roy can leave hope.

by benjamin73

Ben Turland

Indian author Arundhati Roy’s Booker Prize winning novel The God of Small Things has a plot layout similar to how an architect designs a house. This is not that surprising being that Roy was first studying as an Architect in New Delhi. The blueprints are laid for the whole story in the first chapter, while the detail coming after the main picture is show. This type of layout is not done often and is very unique to this story. This book is Roy’s first and only novel to date. The story follows seven year old fraternal twins, Estha and Rahel, and how their experiences and decisions affect and change their lives. One major theme in this novel is tragedy from accidental death and death because of love. Even though this novel is filled with all this tragedy, Roy somehow miraculously leaves you with hope.

The novels first chapter gives you basically all the information you need for the whole story. There are very few surprises left. You learn about the characters, the deaths and their outcomes. This story is based out of the state of Kerala in India in 1969. The view of the story is from Estha and Rahel. The story bounces between the before and after of Sophie Mols death. Estha and Rahel live in a home full of tragedy, with every family member going through something horrible. Their mother Ammu, who is divorced from her drunk abusive husband, has become to attracted to Velutha, an accomplished carpenter and mechanic who has worked in the family own pickle factory for years. But he is a paravan an untouchable in their society. When Velutha and Ammus’s relationship is discovered, events occur that change everyone’s lives.

God of Small Things is full of immense amounts of tragedy throughout the whole text. Nothing good ever seems to happen. But Roy leaves you a slimmer of hope by the end of the novel by a simple word “tomorrow”. Tragedy occurs to the entire family; Chacko the twins’ uncle is a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford but is divorced and lives at home. His only daughter Sophie is killed while she and Margaret Kochamma, his ex-wife, are visiting in an attempt to get away from England, where Margaret’s second husband has died. Baby Kochamma, the twin’s aunt only love, was an Irish Priest who she attempt to follow by becoming a nun but also eventually returns home. Mammachi, the grandmother, was beaten by her husband for years. Estha is sexual harassed by a concession man and eventually never talks. Despite all these horrible events, Roy leaves us with hope from the last chapter of the novel when you discover Ammu has a secret relationship with the untouchable Velutha. It gives the reader hope that one, love has no boundaries, and through all the turmoil in the family there can still be joy. Even though this relationship ends up with Velutha dead and the death of Sophie, you as a reader are still grabbing at this section of book and are happy about it. The fact that Ammu had this relationship gives hope for the rest of the family. The final word in the whole novel being “tomorrow” which is said to Velutha from Ammu saying they will see each other tomorrow. From this word shows that despite all the tragedy and turmoil, there is always tomorrow, hope, and the opportunity for things to change. This message you learn from the book can be implemented into everyone’s lives. To always be optimistic, look for the good and have hope for ‘tomorrow’, if Ammu can have hope anyone can.

This novel is based in India in 1969 and follows Estha and Rahel, seven year old twins, and all the hardships they face in their lives. In a space of two mere weeks tragedy strikes all members of their family. Roy, who writes this story like an Architect, leaves the reader with hope without them realizing it. Hope for tomorrow, hope for something better. This is an amazing book, and deserves all the praise it as received, which I recommend for a good read.

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