The God of Small Things (Genre: Fiction) - By Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things is a winner of the Man Booker Prize, 1997. This debut novel of Arundhati Roy provides a keen insight into how small things affect human behavior while camouflaging the bigger things inside their minds. It is a tragic tale of separation of the twins.

The Backdrop of the Story

Set in the backdrop of Kerala’s tropical paradise, the story is about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins, Rahel and her brother Estha. The two children, accompanied by their mother, go to live in their maternal house after their parents’ divorce.

Roy uses a cleaver device of Rahel’s suspenseful narrative to reveals the family’s internal tensions to which the twins belonged. The behavior of the different family members towards the mother and her two children forms the story’s essence.

At a very young age, the two children had to face life’s horrifying truths as they are blamed for every misfortune that befalls the family. Beneath the family drama, the background beautifully captures social taboos, the tide of history, local politics, and even the culture of Kerala’s small town.

Growing up is an Experience that Often Comes with Pains

The story brilliantly portrays Rahel’s observations and her clouded understanding of adults’ complex emotions. She notices that adults’ behaviors reveal their moral weakness and sometimes their repulsive evil power in a subtle but complicated manner. She exposes her understanding with a statement: “At times like these, only the Small Things are ever said. The Big Things lurk unsaid inside.”

This beautifully constructed story, masterfully told in an original voice, has alone been responsible for the Booker prize. The switch between present and past, the forbidden love, multilayered characters, detailed description of everyday life paved way for Arundhati Roy to win the Man Booker Prize, 1997.