A Little Something for Everyone.

by brooksbrendan

Brendan Brooks

The God of Small Things is as much a story of style as it is about the people within the novel. The characters as a matter of fact were very much secondary to my reading. As much as I cared for Estha, Rahel and the trauma of their lives and circumstance I didn’t feel a deep connection to the rest. Part of me feel this may be a cultural issue. Perhaps I fail to understand the origin Baby Kochamma’s silent outrage or the taboo nature of the relationship of Ammu and Velutha due to my place in a western culture. Or maybe it is a generational issue with the novel being set within a different time for India. This is not to say the characters are not handled with respect by Roy but my relationship with them was distant.

Where I found true enjoyment in this novel was within the structure. There is one line that speaks volumes to what hooked me to this novel. “A viable dieable age” says everything for me. The playfulness with language frames everything. The constant repetition helps to set the characters of the twins. It shows an immaturity or perhaps naivety present for the twins. This helps us to understand why they are so easily mislead into false accusations. Viable diable also makes death seem less harsh with a bouncy poetic sensibility. Roy constantly cheers up the surroundings with vivid images of bright fruits and lush settings that allow us to become lost within the novel even though we know the impending doom on the horizon.

In the end I think that is what Roy’s novel is so successful. With a love of language and a quest to discover literature I found something in it for myself to enjoy. For those who enjoy a little mystery the constant flux of time gives you a puzzle to solve. Those with a connection to Indian culture and an understanding of the cast system have a cross boundary relationship to relish in. Wherever you stand at the beginning as you are led through the different paths of this novel of tragedy, what we do to deal with them and who we find our comfort with. In the end we all come out the end either intrigued by form, reflective upon your solution to the puzzle or mourning a loss but with a feeling of hope that there will be a tomorrow because event though we know the tragedy of tomorrow for the characters is one of happiness.

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