English IV Accel
History the Mob Boss
Arundhati Roy personifies history as a mob boss, with Baby Kochamma, Chacko, Inspector Thomas Matthew, Comrade Pillai, even Vellya Paapen acting has the mob boss’s thugs, who maintained order and came to collect what you owe when you don’t follow the rules.
When you owe the mob money, the boss’s thugs will come for you. Roy uses the personification of owing the mob boss to show what happens when you don’t maintain the natural order of things. When you get off balance, history’s thugs work to return to and maintain balance. In India, marriages are arranged, which is the natural order. Pappachi and Mammachi had an arranged marriage, had two kids, and two successful careers. They did what they were supposed to do. Their kids, Chacko and Ammu, didn’t. Chacko went off to Oxford, rowed for Balliol, got an undergraduate degree, and had a love marriage with Margaret Kochamma, which ultimately ended in their divorce, and Chacko’s moving back to India (Roy 120). He didn’t follow history’s rules, so the thugs came to collect when Sophie died. Pappachi and Mammachi may have hated each other, but they followed the rules. Chacko didn’t, and paid the price. Ammu also broke the rules, twice. Her first infraction was the love marriage to her ex-husband. Had she known he was a severe alcoholic, she probably wouldn’t have married him, but then she never would have had Estha and Rahel. You can what-if all you want, but she didn’t follow the boss’s rules, and paid the price with the divorce and having to return to Ayemenem. But the second time she broke the history boss’s rules, it was a greater infraction. She dared to touch and love an untouchable (Roy 98). The history boss collected from her in a way so severe it greatly altered their future, with the death of Velutha, when Chacko kicked her out, and when Baby Kochamma made Estha’s return a reality (Roy 200).
History is always...