Teacher Guide

The God of Small Things Lesson Plan

Relationship to Other Books

The God of Small Things is full of references to Western literature. One recurring reference is to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1899), a short novel about European colonialism in the Congo which called into question the differences between "barbarism" and civilized society. The "Heart of Darkness" represents the absolute worst of human nature--Conrad used his Mr. Kurtz's barbarism to argue that there is no essential difference between races. Roy takes this criticism a step further, presenting the "Heart of Darkness" image as an ugliness not just inherent in European colonialism, but caused by it. Both novels, however, use the Heart of Darkness...

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