Cutting for Stone Report

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The perception of twins has always been perceived as being one and united. The common imagery of twins is often associated as two human beings that are closely related with several similar traits, aesthetically or internally. However, despite the conventional perception of twins, they are not always the image perfect couple we have always imagined them to be. In the case of Abraham Verghese’s Cutting For Stone and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, both authors establish a unique aspect on twins that many of us would not consider the accepted norm of twin “ideology”. In Cutting For Stone, we are presented with a epitomical situation of two twins that are conjoined by an artery in their heads. It’s an extremely typical scenario in which the author decides to approach in a distinct manner in terms of how the characters, specifically the twins, would develop. Although this type of scenario sounds like it would be excessively played out, or in other words clichéd, Abraham Verghese embraces this stereotypical situation and molds the twins’ relationships into one that is contrary to the status quo. As for Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, this story similarly takes a particular approach on twins in which we are not accustomed to. She addresses many of the differences between the two twins, despite their obvious relationship, but subtly hints at many underlying similarities that are greatly significant to the backstory and overall plot of the novel. Unlike Cutting For Stone, where we were presented with an illustrious situation of two twins, Roy explores the relationship of Rahel and Esthappen in a manner that comes full circle in the bond of two twins. Although both Cutting For Stone and The God of Small Things have a unique approach on twins, they both share a common ground on the universal perspective of twins that essentially neglects the formal approach and presents to the readers a journey of a relationship that not only becomes closely intertwined due to obvious factors of a twin-relationship, but due to the compelling differences and tribulations throughout the developing bond.

In both novels, the relationship of the two twins is constantly developing, regardless of whether or not the twins are actually communicating or interacting. It’s clear that in Cutting For Stone, Shiva and Marion have always had a strong, yet odd relationship from the beginning. During their early days at school, they were known as “ShivaMarion” and were always dressed in identical clothing, shared the same room, and played the same games (Verghese, 253). However, as they both grew older, they developed individual identities that greatly challenged their unity from their childhood. During the time when Hema gives Marion and Shiva dance lessons, Verghese presents the first signs of the twins’ separation due to the fact that Shiva excelled at dancing, whereas Marion struggled. Marion eventually quits and thus began the twins’ separation (Verghese, 129). Verghese’s approach to expressing the twins is distinct in many ways because she presents to the readers a pre-established bond of the twins that was once intimate and one with potential but manipulates this relationship with many rifts between Marion and Shiva. Although it may seem that these rifts have damaged the bond between the two twins, it contrarily allowed both Shiva and Marion to believe that their relationship was ultimately connected in the end. Their separation expressed their troubling differences but without these tribulations, it would not have allowed the twins to see the true importance of each other because in return, the differences were a domino effect in terms of how everything aligned, from the sacrifice of Shiva to the letter from their mother. A quote that notably epitomizes this perception is this: “Life, too, is like that. You live it forward, but understand it backward. It is only when you stop and look to the rear that you see the corpse caught under your...
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