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The God of Small Things | Chapter Summaries

See Chapter Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • 1958

    Pappachi retires and moves the family to Ayemenem.

    Chapter 2
  • 1960

    Mammachi opens the pickle factory.

    Chapter 2
  • 1961

    Sophie Mol is born, and Margaret Kochamma divorces Chacko.

    Chapter 13
  • November 1962

    Rahel and Estha are born.

    Chapter 1
  • 1965

    Ammu divorces Baba and moves to Ayemenem with the twins.

    Chapter 2
  • December 1969

    Sophie Mol and Margaret Kochamma come to Ayemenem.

    Chapter 8
  • Same night

    The affair between Ammu and Velutha begins.

    Chapter 21
  • Two weeks later

    Sophie Mol drowns.

    Chapter 13
  • The next day

    Velutha is killed by police.

    Chapter 18
  • Within days

    Ammu, Rahel, and Estha are split apart.

    Chapter 19
  • Summer 1992

    Rahel and Estha reunite at Ayemenem.

    Chapter 1

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 The novel opens in what is the present time for the narrative, the summer of 1992, in the small town of Ayemenem in the ... Read More
Chapter 2 Set in December 1969, this long chapter tells of a family trip to see a movie, The Sound of Music. However, the trip is ... Read More
Chapter 3 Set in the present of the narrative, summer 1992, this chapter opens with a description of how filthy and neglected the ... Read More
Chapter 4 The narrative goes back to the family trip to the movies. Chacko drops everyone else off and goes to check on the hotel ... Read More
Chapter 5 Returning to the present, the chapter opens by contrasting the healthy river of Rahel's childhood with the polluted tric... Read More
Chapter 6 Once again the narrative focuses on the time of Sophie Mol's arrival. The family members dress in their best clothes for... Read More
Chapter 7 The action returns to the Ayemenem House at the present time in the narrative. Rahel is in Pappachi's study, looking for... Read More
Chapter 8 The "play" that has been orchestrated for Sophie Mol's arrival continues as the Ayemenem House is staged for the arrival... Read More
Chapter 9 Returning to the present, the narrative focuses on Rahel sitting outside in the garden one evening. She is wondering wha... Read More
Chapter 10 On the day Sophie Mol arrives at Ayemenem, Estha disappears. The story now finds him in the pickle factory, where he has... Read More
Chapter 11 As Rahel and Estha get back to the napping room, Ammu is just waking up from a dream of a one-armed man who holds her in... Read More
Chapter 12 This chapter is set at the kathakali performance Rahel decided to attend back in Chapter 9. Kochu Thomban, the temple el... Read More
Chapter 13 This long and important chapter is set on the afternoon of Sophie Mol's arrival, in Chacko's room where she and her moth... Read More
Chapter 14 While the women take naps on the afternoon of Sophie Mol's arrival, Chacko visits Comrade Pillai, who does the printing ... Read More
Chapter 15 Velutha swims easily across the river and reaches the other shore within minutes. Then he makes the short walk to the Hi... Read More
Chapter 16 As the chapter title suggests it is not long before Estha, Rahel, and Sophie Mol also go down to the river to cross over... Read More
Chapter 17 Returning to the present time of the narrative, the chapter opens with Estha once again sitting silently in his room at ... Read More
Chapter 18 In the early morning hours of the night Velutha, Rahel, and Estha cross the Meenachal River and go to the History House,... Read More
Chapter 19 When the police get back to the police station, Inspector Thomas Mathew deals with the children. The officers tell him a... Read More
Chapter 20 As the train carrying Estha away from Ammu and Rahel prepares to leave the station, a lady seated near him tries to get ... Read More
Chapter 21 In lyrical prose this chapter describes the first time Ammu and Velutha make love, the night of Sophie Mol's first day i... Read More
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