2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Structure and Chaos: Examining Dominant and Submissive Entities in The God of Small Things
Tom Franken
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

The complex structure of actions and consequences, which brings about the tragedies of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things, is threaded together and driven forward by the resulting emotions, rebellions, and dysfunctions caused by the dominating forces which individual characters and the society as a whole cannot escape. These dominating forces exist on a societal level (the caste system), a familial level (the parental dominance of Papachi and Ammu), and perhaps most powerfully, on a self-imposed individual level (Estha's attempt to compartmentalize his sorrow). Characters are trapped by a fear that breaking the laws of these forces will inevitably bring about tragedy. By applying this relationship of dominant and submissive on many different levels, Roy transforms the novel from a mere political statement into a commentary on the negative effects which such an imbalance of power has on the human condition.

Keywords: The God of Small Things , Arundhati Roy, Marxism, Caste System, Parental Relationships


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 38-1
Location: VH 1236
Time: 2:45

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