THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS -ARUNDHATI ROY INTRODUCTION
THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS
The god of small things was written by Indian writer Arundhathi Roy in 1997. This novel is about the communist party in Kerala and the two fraternal twins who reunite as young adults, after many years. Rahel and Estha are fraternal twins . Rahel is a smart but impulsive young woman. Estha is very serious and nervous young man. Their mother Ammu takes them to Ayemenem to live with her family. Ammu and the twins live with her brother Chacko, his ex-wife Margaret, and their daughter Sophie, as well as Baby Kochamma, the twins maternal aunt.This story takes place in Ayemenem, India. Ammu Ipe, marries a tea estate manager in order to escape from her father, Pappaci, and her mother,Mammachi. Her husband is an alcoholic. After giving birth to the twins, Ammu , leaves him and return to ayemenem. Her brother Chacko also return to Ayemenem to manage their family’s pickle business, after having divorced with his English wife in Oxford. They also live with Pappachi’s sister, Navomi Ipe, who goes by the name Baby Kochamma.
The novel opens with Rahel’s return to Ayemenem after hearing that her twin brother, Estha has come home. We switch to the funeral of Sophie Mol, when the twins are seven years old. Rahel believes that Sophie is awake during her funeral and buried alive. The rest of the family refuses to acknowledge the twins and Ammu. Rahel and Estha have not seen each other since Estha was sent away as a child to live with Babu in Assam. Both the twins have travelled somewhat aimlessly until returning to their childhood home. Rahel looks out on the family’s former factory, Paradise pickles and preserves, and contemplates how all the strangeness in her family resolves around the incident of Sophie Mol’s death. Next we find the family travelling to Cochin to greet Sophie Mol and her mother, Margaret Kochamma, upon their arrival from England. On their way they see their servant Velutha marching with a group of communists. The narrative returns to Cochin, where the family goes to see The Sound of Music in the cinema. Inside the theatre, Estha cannot stop singing, so he is sent out into lobby, where the Orange drink Lemon drink man molests him, after he becomes nauseated, the family leaves the movie early. Rahel senses that the orange drink lemon drink man has wronged Estha and talks back to Ammu when she praises the man. Ammu tells her that she loves Rahel a little less, a statement that haunts Rahel for a long time. Back in present Rahel runs into Comrade Pillai and he shows her a photograph of the twins and Sophie died. In a flashback to Sophie’s arrival at the Cochin airport, Rahel cannot handle the nervousness surrounding for hiding in the window curtain. Everyone tries to impress Sophie and Margaret Kochamma with new clothing. The narrative turns to Ammu’s death at the age of thirty one. Estha watches her body being pushed into the cremation oven. No one writes to Estha to inform him of Ammu’s death. Back to Sophie Mol’s welcome ceremony a crowd gathers to sing and eat cake. Rahel retreats to play with Velutha. As Ammu watches her daughter and handyman together she is attracted to Velutha for the first time. Velutha is trying to suppress his constant association with her children. Rahel watches Estha bathes in the moonlight. The twins meet by coincidence at a temple where they watch kathakali dancer’s act out a violent story of retribution all night. We turn to the story of Chacko’s and Margaret Kochamma’s marriage. It began happily but soon crumbled because of a sense of disconnection. Margaret left Chacko for Joe, who later died in the accident. After that , she took Sophie to Ayemenem as a distraction. She can never forgive herself for leaving Sophie alone in Ayemenem the day she died. We finally hear the story of Sophie Mol’s death and the events surrounding it. Vellya Paapen comes to Mammachi’s door and offers to kill Velutha with his bare hands for having an affair with Ammu. Baby Kochamma makes sure that Ammu is locked in her room and that the police thinks he raped Ammu. Roy begins to call Velutha ” The God of Loss”and “The God of Small Things”. The telling of Sophie’s actual death is short. She joins the twins as they run away after Ammu insults them terribly. The twins fall asleep on the veranda of the history house where Velutha also sleeping there. The next morning police come across the river and arrest Velutha and took the twins to station with them. Estha knows that Baby Kochamma give a false report about Velutha and Kochamma force Estha to live with Babu. As Estha leaves on the train Rahel cries as though a part of her is being ripped out of her body. The final chapter describes the first night of Ammu’s and Velutha’s affair. They are both drawn to the riverbank where hey me and make love for the first time. After that they meet secretly and share their administration of Small Things such as the creature of riverbank. Each night as they part, they say to one another tomorrow. On the last night they meet before Velutha’s death Ammu is compelled to turn back and repeat one more time TOMORROW.