2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Communism as a Driving Force in Arundhati Roy's novel The God of Small Things
Ashley S. Oppenheim
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Arundhati Roy’s novel, The God of Small Things is set in Kerala, India in which communism flourishes. Roy presents a unique version of communism in Kerala, which she describes as a “cocktail revolution”. While the motives of Marxism are fairly clear, the motives of the so-called Marxist characters in The God of Small Things are not. Characters like Chacko, Comrade Pillai, and Velutha illustrate different aspects of the spectrum within the communist scale, each uses their ideology as a means of accomplishing something more abstract than the eventual goal of a communist revolution, which mirrors the less-idealized version of communism found in Kerala. Whether it is to mask capitalist goals, lift oneself socially, or to gain a voice as an untouchable, Roy demonstrates throughout her novel that communism is nothing more than a mouthpiece of the character’s individual desires which eventually leads to tragedy.

Keywords: Communism, Arundhati Roy


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 49-5
Location: VH 1304
Time: 3:45

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