Author(s): Seema Malik

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Address: Seema Malik
M.A., NET qualified (English), H.No. 1001, Sector-1, Rohtak-124001 (Haryana)
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Published In:   Volume - 4,      Issue - 2,     Year - 2013

Arundhati Roy is a commended post-colonial Indian novelist to have bagged the Booker prize for her decisive work The God of Small Things, which was published in 1997. Roy as one of the prominent contemporary women writers in India takes us inside the consciousness of her modern educated middle class women characters to present their plight, fears, dilemmas, contradictions and ambitions. Caught between patriarchy and tradition on the one hand, and self-expression, individuality independence on the other, her protagonists feel lost and confused and explore ways to fulfill themselves as a human beings. She delineates her women characters in the light of their hopes, fears, aspirations and frustrations. Arundhati Roy in her debut novel, The God of Small Things, enacts the eternal drama of confrontation between the powerful and the powerless. The novel deals with class antagonism and class exploitation, the tyranny and injustice that the untouchable have to suffer, the oppression and exploitation of women in a male dominated society and above all, the neglect and humiliation that the dalit and the defenseless have to pass through in class-ridden society. Roy, in one of her interviews proclaims, “It is about trying to make the connections between the smallest of things and the biggest of things and to see how they fit together” (Jahan 166). The psychological, economic and social problems that play a major role in the novel, devastate men and women alike. The author has desisted from making a woman’s powerlessness the central crises. Both men and women are projected as a victim or a tyrant. It must be admitted that a woman’s loss of power is treated very sympathetically and yet, there is no obsession with woman’s ineffectual condition in society. It is very interesting to note that in the text Roy has carried out covertly emasculation of men by women and also emasculation of women but not in the conventional derogatory sense. Her women learn to think and act independently and take on the role of the protector but in the process do not sacrifice their feminine qualities.

Cite this article:
Seema Malik. Social Perspectives in Arundhati’s Roy’s The God of Small Things. Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 4(2): April-June, 2013, 196-200.

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