Marginalization: Heart of Darkness and God of Small Things

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“No idea remains stagnant. If it is relevant, it lives, it breathes, it changes.” How have notions of story telling or marginalization informed and challenged audiences? In your answer, you must refer to at least TWO set texts, at least ONE of which has been studied since the half yearly.

Issues of racism, women discrimination and the corruption of power used to be subtly touched upon or ignored. However they were also viewed differently depending on the era it was brought up in. Yet as time passed by, it seems these issues have become common discussion. This change of significance in how the audience responds and view texts that carry the notions of marginalization can be seen by Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ and Arundhati Roy’s ‘God of Small Things’. The two texts which come from completely two different time periods is evident to the way a message is carried on through many decades though having transformed and changed during times of social change. Through character development and cleverly executed literary techniques, Arundhati Roy and Joseph Conrad confront and educate the audience with ideas of marginalization of race, women and caste.

When Conrad’s novel was first published, it had was read as an adventure novel. But the audience of the present day no longer views what is seen within ‘Heart of Darkness’ as a simple adventure, but as a description of an act of marginalization. Conrad’s character Marlow acts as an outsider, an observer inviting us as the readers to follow his journey. In his first encounter with the natives, Marlow likens them to wild animals, their ‘...breasts panted…’ and with ‘…violently dilated nostrils…creatures rose…and went of on all-fours…’ Conrad’s original audience may not have recognized any significance however a modern culture will be confronted with the raw animalistic characteristics that are associated with the natives. Perhaps what is more challenging to the audience of today is the truth revealed behind the...
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