The God of Small Things

How Cruelty has an Impact on the Characters of The God of Small Things 12th Grade

Throughout the many relationships in Arundhati Roy’s novel The God of Small Things, love, both familial and romantic, is presented as a beautiful, cruel, unjust, and empowering aspect of life. The story, told through the eyes of the young twins, Rahel and Estha, takes place in post-colonial India where strife among class, religion, race and political ideologies runs rampant. As a result of this conflict, society has laid down the so-called “Love Laws” that are tested in the novel. In a non-chronological manner, the twins bear witness to severe pain when their lives are turned upside down time and time again due to clashing boundaries and the power of love. Cruelty in The God of Small Things, as a result of cultural love restrictions, reveals the vulnerability of young children, shaping them to be the indirect and emotional victims of society.

The “Love Laws”, which are so prominent in the novel, serve as consequential catalysts for the fate of relationships. Breaking them inflicts pain and suffering, while following them creates tension and constriction for the characters involved. For example, Pappachi and Mammachi’s relationship strictly follows the Love Laws since they are a result of a traditional marriage that wasn’t...

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