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Word Count: 392
In The God of Small Things Arundhati Roy paints an elaborate portrait of the lives of twins Estha and Rahel growing up in the complex social environment of castes and Syrian Christianity in post-colonial India Rahel and Estha see the world through the simple amazingly insightful eyes of childhood and innocence When people died at sea they were wrapped up in white sheets and thrown overboard with millstones around their necks Estha wasnt sure how they decided how many millstones to take with them before they set off on their voyage They pretend to be refined Indian women they read words backwards for fun and they introduce fragile Sophie Mol to the harsh but beautiful world of India Most of the adults around them are consumed with society and expectations and are incapable of getting beyond the small things to the more important issues The notable exceptions are Ammu their divorced mother and Velutha an Untouchable who works for the family But they are pariahs powerless to change the rigid world in which they live Rahel and Estha are innocent but even that does not protect them They all tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved and how And how much Roys language is precise and often beautifully metaphoric When the car moved her armfat swung like heavy washing in the wind Now it hung down like a fleshy curtain She takes up themes and phrases repeating them and developing them through the work like a jazz musician in a well crafted solo Yet despite her daring facility with the language the usage rarely becomes cumbersome or self-indulgent Despite the sins they commit the children are innocent The Syrian Christians and the Communists and the Anglophiles fight to redeem them to teach them how to live properly Yet eventually they only show them death The children Velutha and Ammu are the ones who
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