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The God of Small Things Chapter 18

In: English and Literature

Submitted By cloecbn
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Chapter 18: The GoST!


Back to 1969, 6 policemen walking towards it: dramatic effect with this long build up.!
Violence in their heart. Hunting of an animal. Long detailed description of the small things with many pauses
(line breaks), a feeling of something coming, suspense.!
The policemen carry batons but are thinking of machine guns.!
When they arrive they have the feeling of being responsible for “Touchable futur”.!
They wake Velutha with their heavy boots by kicking him.!
The children wake up by: ”to the shout of sleep surprised by shattered kneecaps”. They don’t know that
Velutha was there. There are paralysed by fear and disbelief.!
The police beat V= extreme violence, skull cracking, broken ribs puncturing his lungs, damaged spine, broken teeth, ruptured intestine…!
The twins are too young to understand. The policemen are “history’s henchmen” acting out the inevitable.!
Estha and Rahel learn that blood smells "sicksweet. Like roses on a breeze”!
Rahel tells Estha that she can tell that it isn't Velutha – she says it's Urumban, his "twin" who was at the march. Estha says nothing because he is "unwilling to seek refuge in fiction”. Rahel retreats into fantasy and ignorance.! The six policemen take all of Estha and Rahel's toys for their kids. The only thing they leave behind is
Rahel's watch, which has the fake time painted on it. they wonder if Velutha really kidnapped them.!
Climatic tragedy, violence unlike Sophie Mol’s death.!
The police achieve that place beyond rage that the twins would later see in the story of Bhima, and again
Roy steps back to examine the larger implications of this single moment. This is also the explanation for the smell of “old roses” that comes to haunt the twins.!
Dehumanisation of Velutha. The policemen go from beating him to helping the children.!
The policemen are the ultimate symbol of the world of "Big Things." They are sanctioned by society to destroy with hard boots and weapons and loud voices, putting them immediately at odds with the lively, quiet lushness of "Small Things." It is especially clear that the policemen and Velutha come from a different world when they beat him nearly to death; as the "God of Small Things," he is seen as a "Small Thing" himself, unimportant and non-human.!
Perhaps this is also why the twins are drawn back to Ayemenem, to reclaim the world of "Small Things" and come to terms with their painful secrets now that enough time has passed and enough people have passed away.! Velutha is not even human. Just a animal, just a few shattered bones and organs = very detailed description.!


Indian politics, society and class:!
Caste system, division between touchables and untouchables.!
“these touchable games”: touchables’ honour.!
“structure” “order” “complete monopoly” “It was human history through God revealing itself for the under age audience” a performance.!
“Policemen exorcing their fear” fear that the cast system might be reversed, that the Touchables will rebel.!


Change VS Preservation:!
The History House becomes a symbol of preservation for Rahel’s plastic watch with the time painted on it = freezing time.!
We learn more about the History House: beautiful but old “the roof is lined with bats”.!
Description of the house, beautiful but old. Center stage for the events.!


Small things:!
By her writing style, Roy emphasises the small moments, objects and changes that symbolise and lead to the ‘Big things’ of life: love,death,politics…!
Written in a free indirect discourse style from the points of view of the children = leads to a childlike perception of the world. !
Description of little animals and plants living alongside the dramas of humans.!
The narrator emphasises the small things like Velutha when he ran away.!

Velutha used to be the god of small things he is now the god of loss.!


“Blue-lipped and dinner-plate-eyed, they watched, mesmerised by something that they sensed but didn’t understand: the absence of caprice in what the policemen did. The abyss where anger should have been.The sober, steady brutality, the economy of it all.”!


“They were opening a bottle.Or shutting a tap.Cracking an egg to make an omelette.” = no humanity left, an everyday action as simple as that.!
“The twins were too young to know that these were only history’s henchmen. Sent to square the books and collect the dues from those who broke its laws. Impelled by feelings that were primal yet paradoxically wholly impersonal. Feelings of contempt born of inchoate, unacknowledged fear – civilization’s fear of nature, men’s fear of women, power’s fear of powerlessness.” Here Roy clearly shows her views on things.!


In The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy separates English from English- speakers. She reappropriates the language not only to portray complex characters and narrative themes, but also to create a postcolonial discourse that criticizes, questions and subverts the old dominance of the imperial colonizer. Mainly addressed to a western audience, the use of Inglish in this novel is a crucial factor to reveal the development of a hybrid conscience, reassert the Indian identity and make the reader feel displaced from their native tongue.! !

POLICE= ironic acronyme!
This confusion and discomfort felt on the part of readers assists Roy’s purpose to place us, if only temporarily, in the shoes of the colonized. We have to relearn the way a story might be told, and we must accept what seem like interruptions to the Àow of a narrative with words in their proper places.!


Ref to Heart of Darkness:!
“Dark of Heartness tiptoed into the Heart of Darkness” situation changing, play with words, policemen attitude.! !

Capital letters: “Terror” reinforce this idea of a big thing.!
“A History hole” = where history escapes like smoke!
Rupture with a headline: we are in the imagination of the police men, their desire to be heroes!
Rhetorical questions, interrogations in the children’s minds: give their point of view. Childish language.!
“Click”, ”Bang” readers can visualise/hear the scene. Like a play.!
“Bats, of course, are blind” indirect ref to the population.!

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