The God of Small Things

The Trauma of Youth 12th Grade

Scientists often call the first few weeks of life for a duckling the “sensitive period” due to the uniqueness of this time. During these weeks, the duckling’s mind is the most impressionable that it will ever be; the sounds it hears in these weeks from other ducks will be the duckling’s call for life; the migration pattern it learns will be its path forever, and if the pattern is not learned, the duckling will never in its life have a path to follow with the change of the seasons. In The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy, childhood is depicted as a time of life similar to that of a duckling’s. The story follows the lives of Rahel and Estha, twins whose lives are changed forever by events that take place over just a few days. Ultimately, Roy’s depiction of the tragedy in the context Rahel and Estha’s innocence serves to show the deep vulnerability and impressionability that is inherent in childhood.

Early in the novel, Roy depicts the fragileness of children’s concepts of their of self-worth, thereby showing the fragility of youth itself. Children often define who they are in the context of the important people around them, such as family. The love of a mother, sibling or friend easily translates into love for one’s self...

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