Día Con Miguel: Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things”


Arundhati Roy published her first novel, The God of Small Things, in 1997. At the time, Roy’s work concerned political activism, human rights, and environmental issues. Her other works include “The Cost of Living,” “The End of Imagination,” and “The Doctor and The Saint.” Much of Roy’s nonfiction maintains a consistent voice on reoccurring issues, which show the reader that Roy’s first novel is a lot more personal than what’s presented.

The novel’s timeline begins around the 1960s and travels through to the 1990s. Arundhati Roy, an amateur writer at the time, took two big leaps with the structure of her novel. The God of Small Things breaks many conventions in writing and is written in a nonlinear narrative.

The God of Small Things takes place in Ayemenem, a small village in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala. The novel follows two-egg twins, Rahel and Estha, the quiet and the empty. The political and social implications Roy covers in this book set barriers for the two-egg twins. Some of the major themes are Western influence and its domination of the Eastern hemisphere, gender roles in new-born communist societies, and what Roy refers to as the “love laws.”

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