from chapter 1 and 2
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It is rather clear that women are oppressed and dominated in Arundhati Roy's novel. However very few signs show that the women were disturbed by their secondary importance in the society.
Pappachi used to beat Mammachi with a 'brass vase' every night.
Comrade Pillai outrageously disrespected his wife by addressing her as 'hey you'.
Chacko brought in numerous women to his room merely to satisfy his 'man needs'.
It was factually stated by Baby Kochamma's father that girls were not made to recieve tertiary education but simply to act as obedient housewives. (Baby Kochamma was an exception for she had built such a bad reputation that no man would want to marry her).
However these women never showed any desire for change, they were blind to the patriarchy reigning their country. In fact it seemed as though they were unaware that their position in the society could be ameliorated. These women had been brought up with the mentality that they were inferior to men, thus they grew comfortable in this injustice.
This impregnated idea that they should be housewives and not more does not seem to undergo any sort of distortion, so long as it remains stagnant, nothing can be done to combat antifeminism. Everthing should begin with the women itself. Although the issue remains one of Arundhati Roy's chief concerns, she does not make it the main issue in the novel. The only character to show a rebellious attitude towards this inequality is Ammu who is beaten both by her father and Baba and who consequently leaves both of them. However heroic Ammu's actions may seem to be for helpless women who suffer silently, she is not met with a happy ending. Her defiance leads to her destruction and the world around her falls apart, for the Big Things (patriarchal society) have always had the upper hand over the Small Things (her solitary fight against this unjust society).