God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Name: Ammu Joyce Christopher (14 years)
School: Carmel Convent School, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
Arundhati Roy’s first novel, ‘God of Small Things’ is a lazy voyage into the life of twins, Rahel and Estha.
The Booker prize wining novel of 1997 critically looks into the socio-political situations of Kerala in the later half of 1960s. The story develops in a sleepy village, Ayemenem, in Kottayam district, currently a Christian center.
The novel peeps into the Orthodoxy of Kerala society, caste system within Christianity, rise of communism, male dominance and the seeming duplicity of religions.
The twins’ Syrian Christian family and its aristocracy contrast with the poverty and lower caste status of people who come to work there. Even the family’s maid is caste-conscious.
Roy shows unparalleled skill in creating images in the minds of readers. The dirty toilet of the cinema theater, the smelling iron bar of the bus, the boat left on the river side and the toddy-taping low caste man are among images that would live in the memories of reader for long.
Reading the novel is like having a hurried tour through the lush environs of Ayemenem in the 1960s. The novel takes the reader along with the twins to pass through the turbulence of their family, giving a soul-filling experience.