“The God of Small Things”
By: Taylor Strong
Bibliography on Arundhati Roy:
Arundhati Roy is an Indian author best known for her first novel The God of Small Things, which won numerous awards such as the Booker Prize. It is important to understand what was going on in Roy’s life as she wrote this book to make the connections. Once one has understood what her life was like it is clear to see the connection between the fictional characters and plot intertwining with the non-fictional accounts of Roy’s real life.
Roy was born on November 24, 1961 in Shillong, India where her father was employed as a tea-planter. However, she spent most of her childhood in a village a few kilometers away from town in the center of Kerala. It is in Kerala that the theme and setting of the story takes place. She moved back to Kerala when her mother divorced her father. When her mother divorced her husband she broke the tradition and therefor was never really accepted by the conservative Kerala society. Her house was also dominated by the traditional patriarchal traditions, which made their life more difficult. This is portrayed perfectly in the story, where Ammu represents her mother and shows the many troubles they had to overcome. Her mother was also an activist who got in and won legal battles such as the Christian Succession Act, which in turn intrigued Arundhati to do the same.
When Roy was eighteen she moved to New Delhi for higher education and joined the Delhi School of Architecture (like Rahel). She worked many jobs just to get by such as selling cakes, filmmaking, screenplay writing, and writing articles for newspapers. It were these life experiences that would later accumulate to help create her best work, The God of Small Things.
Prasad, Amar. The God of Small Things A Critical Appraisal. New Delhi: Sharma for Sarup & Sons, 2004. Print
Country Profile of India:
India is the worlds largest democracy and the second most populous country in the world. It is a very vast and diverse sub-continent that was under foreign rule from the early 1800s until they achieved independence from the British in 1947. It became a world power in the 1900s with a fast-growing economy and a strong military. However, despite the growth India is still having trouble with social, economic, and environmental problems.
India has many languages, cultures, and religions making it a very diverse country. The instablitiy of India in the 1800s lead the British to colonize and take over the rule. This lead to an uproar which lead leaders such as Ghandi to peacefully protest the British rule and fight for India’s independence. Ghandi is probably considered one of the most important figures in India’s history because of his non-violent approach in freeing India of British rule. India finally gained independence in 1947 which lead to the establishment of a democracy.
The economy of India has greatly increased with a increasing number of a middle class. It has a large, skilled workforce and is popular to other countries wishing to outsource their work. Even with these steps forward the majority of the population in India is still poverty stricken. This has to do with things India has had to deal with for a long time such as the caste system. This system, as seen is the story, affects much of one’s life by putting him or her in a hierarchal ranking system. Although discrimination on basis of the caste system is now illegal it still has a very large affect on the opportunities one has available based on where they were born in this system. The system controls what you can do, what you cannot do, whom you can communicate with, and whom you should marry. These things highly influence the life of the people, which in turn cause problems and instability in the government.
India Profile. BBC News. BBC, 29 Augest 2012 Web. 8 April 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12557384
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