The God of Small Things

The Role of Forbidden Love in The Guide and The God of Small Things College

Forbidden love is a prominent theme in both The Guide and The God of Small Things. While R.K. Narayan utilizes Raju’s affair as a plot device, Arundhati Roy displays several sexual taboos as part of a broader theme to challenge societal expectations in India.

In “The Guide: A Study in Transcendence,” Mary Beatina Rayen explains that The Guide depicts Raju’s life in “three phases: his position as a tourist guide, ‘Railway Raju,’ his adventure with the dancer Rosie and her husband Marco; and finally his life at the village, Mangala” (Rayen 57). According to her analysis, Raju is on a spiritual journey and his affair with Rosie is just a step along the way that brings him to prison. She cites Balarama Gupta’s analysis which describes Raju as “a selfish swindler, an adroit actor, and a perfidious megalomaniac.”

There’s a sense of karma throughout the novel, which has Raju end up in prison as the result of his own carelessness. Rayen discusses how Raju “is an accommodator” and “unable to say no to anyone,” This character flaw leads him to sleep with a married woman after he notices “Rosie’s loneliness and dazzling beauty.” This leads Marco to pursue his revenge, resulting in Raju’s imprisonment for a crime he didn’t commit. Without...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 848 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6359 literature essays, 1754 sample college application essays, 259 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in