god of small things

god of small things - Period 5 December 4 2007 The Laws of...

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Period 5 December 4, 2007 The Laws of The God of Small Things In Arundhati Roy’s novel The God of Small Things , upon the first mention of the Love Laws, I almost immediately felt they were a negative component of society; laws that govern who can and cannot be loved seem oppressive and medieval. But the prospect of a world without any sort of social governing agents is equally, if not more, frightening to me. It would be easy to dismiss the laws that direct religious, political, cultural, social, and familial interactions as harmful and unnecessary, but there is a reason they exist. History has handed these laws down to each generation, and each has found it easier to abide and retain order than to revolt and risk chaos. The characters’ repulsion at breaches of social code is dependent upon the gravity of the infraction and who commits the violation. The characters are hypocritical in this way, punishing each act based more upon the social level of the perpetrator, not arbitrarily punishing each. Roy writes, “Some things come with their own punishments. They would all learn more about punishments soon. That they came in different sizes” (109). After what is referred to as “The Terror,” (74) Velutha is killed, Ammu descends into madness, and Rahel and Estha are doomed to lives of “Emptiness and Quietness,” (21) respectively. However, when Chacko brings home women to sleep with he is not punished, but Mammachi instead builds a separate entrance for them. When Ammu and Velutha’s relationship is discovered, the reaction is much different. Baby Kochamma and Mammachi react with rage when they learn of Ammu and Velutha’s relationship. “Her tolerance of ‘Men’s Needs,’ as far as her son was concerned, became the fuel for her unmanageable fury at her daughter. She had defiled generations of breeding…and
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brought the family to its knees” (244). Mammachi is incredulous with rage at her daughter’s relationship with an Untouchable. Her disgust is rooted in years of cultural laws that dictate a relationship between an Untouchable and a Touchable is unacceptable. When the policemen beat
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god of small things - Period 5 December 4 2007 The Laws of...

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