The God of Small Things

Techniques

As this story focuses on and their impressions of the world, Roy uses various techniques to represent the children's viewpoint and their innocence. One technique that Roy employs is the capitalisation of certain words and phrases to give them certain significance. Similarly, the children will restate things that the adults say in a new phonetic way, disjoining and recombining words. This echoes the children's way of looking at the world differently from the grown-ups that surround them. They place significance on words and ideas differently from the adults, thereby creating a new way of viewing the world around them. They pick up on certain feelings and ideas that the adults around them either fail or refuse to recognise, and give new significance to things that the adults may or may not ignore for their own purposes. The children use and repeat these phrases throughout the story so that the phrases themselves gain independence and new representational meanings in subsequent uses.

Roy also employs a disjointed, non-sequential narrative that echoes the process of memory, especially the resurfacing of a previously suppressed, painful memory.

The uncovering of the story of Sophie Mol's death existing concurrently with the forward moving story of Rahel's return to Aymanam and reunion with Estha creates a complex narrative that reiterates the difficulty of the subject of the story and the complexity of the culture from which the story originates. Time is rendered somewhat static as the different parts of the one narrative line are intertwined through repetition and non-sequential discovery. This is also part of the way in which Roy uses real life places and people that she has shifted and altered for use within this story. All of the multifarious elements come together to construct a diverse look at one instance of Indian culture and the effect of the caste system on life and love during a time of postcolonialism. As the children attempt to form their own identities, naming and renaming themselves in the process, Roy places in parallel the effect of the process, by intertwining the past and the present.

Similarly, this process echoes the progression of the Indian people, like all other cultures that attempt to find ways to maintain their traditions within a time of increasing globalisation.


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