The idea of 'returning' in The God of Small Things

A short, uncompleted essay on The idea of returning in The God of Small Things

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  • Created on: 16-05-10 15:39
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English Literature
What use does Roy make of the idea of returning in The
God of Small Things?
Arundhati Roy uses the idea of `returning' throughout her
bildungsroman novel: The God of Small Things.
Esthappen is sent to his father Babu, in Assam after Sophie Mol's
death, then he is later `Rereturned' to Ayemenem because he has
nowhere else to go. Sympathy is aimed at Estha due to the
appearance of him being unwanted and him having no secure family
relationships with anyone accept Rahel.
Ayemenem seems to be a magnet to the characters in the story
Chacko and Baby Kochamma leave India to study but ended up back
in their home town. When Margaret Kochamma and Sophie Mol
arrive to the house they are greeted as though they are `returning'
home. Estha and Rahel have sexual intercourse in an attempt to
return home even though it is against their community's norms. After
Rahel, Estha and Sophie Mol run off to the river, Sophie Mol is
absorbed by the river and is later regurgitated into the sea for a
fisherman to find Sophie is returned to her family however, the river
stole her soul causing a tragedy. After Sophie Mol's funeral, Ammu
takes the `twoegg twins' back to the police station in order to tell
Inspector Thomas Matthews that there had been a `terrible mistake'.
Inspector Matthews reflects his influence through his perverted stare
at Ammu's breasts which is a concern in Arundhati Roy's opinion. In
the last chapter, The Cost of Living, the last sentence is filled with the
possibility of Velutha seeing Ammu `Tomorrow.', vice versa, Roy
ends the novel with the hope of them returning to each other
however, due to her non chronological events in the chapters, it is
apparent to the reader that Velutha and Ammu won't meet ever again
because he is murdered.
It is known that Roy uses the idea of `returning' (specifically to
home) to explain her view that people cannot escape history
although they can ignore it and associate it with places such as the

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Plan (no particular order)
Estha: being `returned' and `Rereturned', shows the broken family.
Last chapter: `Tomorrow', won't be false hope.
Rahel returns to Ayemenem to see Estha.
Incest feel like home even though against communities norms.
Sophie Mol returns dead, river (ran off with Estha and Rahel
Attempt to return to normal life, Ammu, Estha, Rahel, Mammachi...
Ammu returns to the police station to try and save Velutha, failed.
returned=mainly negative.…read more

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