The English Research Express ISSN

The English Research Express ISSN: 2321-1164 (Online); 2347-2642 (Print)
IJELL-International Journal of English Language and Literature
Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal run by Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India

Available in on line at www.issnjournals.com
Copyright @ 2018 Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India. All rights reserved.
Title of the Paper: FEMINISTIC PERSPECTVE IN ARUNDHATI ROY’S POST MODERN FICTION
GOD OF SMALL THINGS / / Authors: Ms. Shalini. M * and Dr. Mrs. K. B. Jasmine Suthanthira Devi **
Pages: 46-52/ Date of Publication: 25/06/2018

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Volume: 6 ; Issue: 22 (April – June 2018) PP: 46-52 Date: 25-06-2018
FEMINISTIC PERSPECTVE IN ARUNDHATI ROY’S POST MODERN
FICTION GOD OF SMALL THINGS
By: Ms. Shalini. M * and Dr. Mrs. K. B. Jasmine Suthanthira Devi **
Authors’ Particulars:
Ms. Shalini. M *,
M. Phil. Research Scholar in English,
Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institutue of Science and Technology,
(PRIST university, Chennai Campus),
Thanjavur- 613403,
Tamil Nadu,
India.

E-Mail: [email protected]
Mobile: 0091 9578342202

Dr. K.B. Jasmine Suthanthira Devi**,
Dean and Head of the Department of English,
Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Science and Technology,
(PRIST University, Chennai Campus),
Thanjavur- 613403,
Tamil Nadu,
India.

Authors’ Introduction:
Ms. Shalini. M* has completed her M. A. Degree from Madras University, Chennai
and pursuing her M. Phil. in English at Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institutue of Science and
Technology (PRIST University, Chennai Campus). She is interested in Indian Literature. She
is a good motivator speaker for the students. She is also health fitness instructor and is
guiding many youngsters to be fit.
Dr. K.B. Jasmine Suthanthira Devi** is the Dean as well as the Head of the
Department of English at Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Science and Technology (PRIST
University, Thanjavur Campus). She has Published 6 Books under the title of a learner’s
guide to English Grammar, Teaching of English, Okonkwo- African novel translation
(Chinua Achebe), A travelogue (Jerusalem), Supreme Guide to English, Grammar for 12th
standard, Nenjathirayil Neengatha Oviyangal (Tamil). She has published 2 papers in
journals. She has organized and attended many seminars, conferences, workshops, and

The English Research Express ISSN: 2321-1164 (Online); 2347-2642 (Print)
IJELL-International Journal of English Language and Literature
Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal run by Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India

Available in on line at www.issnjournals.com
Copyright @ 2018 Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India. All rights reserved.
Title of the Paper: FEMINISTIC PERSPECTVE IN ARUNDHATI ROY’S POST MODERN FICTION
GOD OF SMALL THINGS / / Authors: Ms. Shalini. M * and Dr. Mrs. K. B. Jasmine Suthanthira Devi **
Pages: 46-52/ Date of Publication: 25/06/2018

Page
47

synopsis. She has presented papers in Tamil University, Barthidasan University and PRIST
University. She has remained as resource person in various colleges and chair person in the
seminars. She has guided many M. Phil. and M. Ed students and conducted orientation
courses in A.D.M College Nagapattinam & BON Secours College, Thanjavur. She has
conducted bridge courses in A.D.M College; BON scours College and PRIST University. She
is the External examiner for Ph.D. viva voce examination at Poondi College, Thanjavur &
Holy Trichy.
Abstract:
he current thesis attempts to
study Arundhati Roy’s The God
of Small Things and a number of
her selected essays as multi-
voiced narratives, using
Bakhtin’s concepts of dialogism, where literary and
extra mythical concerns interact and inform to
function as dialogues across cultures, literatures,
themes, concepts, genders, genres and styles. It is
posited that in Roy’s works, no voice, thinking or
meaning is absolute or the only truth; truth is
rather the outcome of the dialogue between a range
of voices and that it is the energetic and innovative
nature of language that makes truth elusive. The
starting chapter gives an insight into the literature
on Roy’s works and a summary of Bakhtin’s
important concepts. The second chapter illustrates
polyphony of hybrid voices in The God of Small
Things. These voices are evaluated mainly in terms
of postcolonial theory. The research paper has
been attempted to explore the elements of
Feminism in Arundhati Roy’s novel ‘The God of
Small Things’. The paper seeks to study the work of
Arundhati Roy, ‘The God of Small Things ‘as a text
of ‘feminine writing’. She has delightfully and
efficiently shown the trouble of women in Indian
society. Arundhati has taken up the issue of
feminism to fight for their identity and cost-
effective and social freedom. Her female characters
in the novel The God of Small Things stands out as
persons and not as role-players. Through this
novel, she throws light on some important things of
life like how affection is always connected with
sorrow, how a person’s childhood experiences
affect his/her perceptions and whole life.

Keywords: Marriage ceremony, sexism,
associations, unresponsive and
Patriarchal

Introduction:
his paper concerns with
the growth of feminism
throughout the 19th and
20th centuries in English literature and
will also make outside these centuries to
briefly discuss how feminism is supposed
at present. Feminism is a wide spectacle
and it is still a topic to be discussed, I have
been interested in it for some time now
which is also why I have chosen to write
about this matter. The 19th century is one
of the most significant periods of British
history, it was a century of changes for
women, and the 20th century followed the
path doing so. Throughout the 19th and
20th centuries, literature has developed as
well as the society and the position of
women with respect to men. However, it
was the suffragette movement that has
started this revolution of equality between
men and women.
Feminism as a movement has
developed significantly during the
centuries; nonetheless, the word feminism
itself may still evoke negative meaning to
some. Women in Britain have started to
fight for their rights and independence
since the beginning of the 19th century;
the aim was to have the same opportunity
for education, occupation and life as men.
The perception of an independent woman
has changed throughout the centuries as
T

T

The English Research Express ISSN: 2321-1164 (Online); 2347-2642 (Print)
IJELL-International Journal of English Language and Literature
Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal run by Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India

Available in on line at www.issnjournals.com
Copyright @ 2018 Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India. All rights reserved.
Title of the Paper: FEMINISTIC PERSPECTVE IN ARUNDHATI ROY’S POST MODERN FICTION
GOD OF SMALL THINGS / / Authors: Ms. Shalini. M * and Dr. Mrs. K. B. Jasmine Suthanthira Devi **
Pages: 46-52/ Date of Publication: 25/06/2018

Page
48

well, from a woman who was supposed to
be a wife, mother, and keeper of a
household, more precisely how Martin
Luther claimed: “Women should remain at
home, sit still, keep house, and bear and
bring up children.
A woman is, or at least should be, a
friendly, well-mannered, and a merry
companion in life, the honor and ornament
of the house, and inclined to tenderness,
for thereunto are they chiefly created, to
bear children, and to be the pleasure, joy
and solace of their husbands,” to a woman
who does not even need a man to find her
happiness and her occupation can be
whatever she wants. The examined writers
will be Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hardy,
Virginia Woolf and Jeanette Winterson
and the novels which will be analyzed are
Jane Eyre by Bronte, Far from the
Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, Mrs.
Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and Oranges
are not the Only Fruit written by Jeanette
Winterson.
About the Author:
rundhati Roy,
recipient of Booker
Prize award was born
on November 24, 1961 in Shillong,
Meghalaya, India. Her full name is
Suzanna Arundhati Roy. Her mother Mary
Roy, well- known as social activist is from
Kerala and her father a Bengali Hindu tea
planter. She spent her crucial childhood
years in Ayamanam a small town near
Kotlayam, followed by the Lawrence
school, Lovedale, in Bilgris, Tamil Nadu.
She then studied architecture at the school
of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, where
she met her first husband, architect Gerard
da Cunha. Roy met her second husband,
filmmaker Pradip Krishen, in 1984, and
played a village girl in his award winning
movie Massey Sahib. It was a fruitful
association for she soon got involved in
preparing T.V. serials for Doordarshan and
got attention for ITV also. Roy is a cousin
of prominent media personality Prannoy
Roy, the head of the Leading Indian TV
media group NDTV. She lives in New
Delhi
The Position of Women in Arundhati
Roy’s The God of Small Things:
he God of Small
Things, “small things”
refers to overlooked
events, “small” people and other creatures
which, in fact, deserve more attention than
“big things.” Even from the title, one may
comment that small, silent or hidden things
should be heard, should be given their
voice. The novel contains stories of death,
broken marriages, unreasonable hate, 128
revenge, sexuality and violence. When an
A
T

The English Research Express ISSN: 2321-1164 (Online); 2347-2642 (Print)
IJELL-International Journal of English Language and Literature
Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal run by Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India

Available in on line at www.issnjournals.com
Copyright @ 2018 Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India. All rights reserved.
Title of the Paper: FEMINISTIC PERSPECTVE IN ARUNDHATI ROY’S POST MODERN FICTION
GOD OF SMALL THINGS / / Authors: Ms. Shalini. M * and Dr. Mrs. K. B. Jasmine Suthanthira Devi **
Pages: 46-52/ Date of Publication: 25/06/2018

Page
49

overall analysis of the novel is conducted,
it is not only the story of a family that
comes to the fore, but it is also the story of
suffering in a wider perspective, which
does not seem to have an end (Kulkarni
173). That is to say, the characters in the
novel have their unfulfilled desires and are
punished and silenced by the system in
various ways.
The women in The God of Small
Things are mostly confronted with marital
and family problems. Esther and Rachel’s
mother, Ammo, marries Babe in a
beautiful ceremony; however, her husband
turns out to be an alcoholic and even urges
her to sleep with his boss, Mr. Rollick,
after which Ammo leaves him and returns
with the twins, Esther and Rachel, to
Ayemenem. Then she has a secret love
affair with Velutha, an untouchable, and so
she is banished from her home and dies in
another place. Her situation could
represent the typical problems an Indian
woman who is dependent on her husband
can face.
Her relationship with Velutha is
particularly significant in that their affair is
considered to be both a sin, as it is extra-
marital, and a crime, as it is between the
members of two different classes in the
caste system. In fact, the untouchables are
not even regarded as a part of the caste
system. In this respect, we can regard the
untouchables as subaltern subjects as well,
people whose voice is lost both in the
social class system and also under the
colonial rule. The narrator also refers in
the novel to Velutha as “the God of Small
Things”: If he touched her, he couldn’t
talk to her, if he loved her he couldn’t
leave, if he spoke he couldn’t listen, if he
fought he couldn’t win. Who was he, the
one-armed man? Who could he have been?
The God of Loss? The God of Small
Things? The God of Goose Bumps and
Sudden Smiles? Of Sourmetal Smells–like
steel bus-rails and the smell of the bus
conductor’s hands from holding them?
Nazma Malik in his article “The
God of Small Things: A Study of English
Influence on Indian Culture” comes close
to Kothari’s opinion by identifying the
opposition of Indian and English
dilemmas: “The Indian Vs the English
Dilemma is illustrated throughout the
novel. The God of small things breathes
with the spirit of modern youth. It attacks
several holy cows like the Communist
establishment, family, religion etc”. The
sexual harassment of women depends on
many things. The first and the most
important source of power for the
scheduled caste women are in their
depressedness, the very nature of being
scheduled caste. They belong to the

The English Research Express ISSN: 2321-1164 (Online); 2347-2642 (Print)
IJELL-International Journal of English Language and Literature
Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal run by Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India

Available in on line at www.issnjournals.com
Copyright @ 2018 Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India. All rights reserved.
Title of the Paper: FEMINISTIC PERSPECTVE IN ARUNDHATI ROY’S POST MODERN FICTION
GOD OF SMALL THINGS / / Authors: Ms. Shalini. M * and Dr. Mrs. K. B. Jasmine Suthanthira Devi **
Pages: 46-52/ Date of Publication: 25/06/2018

Page
50

original community which settled in India
long before the influx of outsiders. That is
why they are known as scheduled caste
(untouchables), people who have been
inhabitants of the soil from the beginning.
The aim of this article is to
scrutinize and discuss in God of small
things by Roy’s perception Women’s
identity in Indian society during the
contemporary period through some
selected works. This unfolds through a re-
visitation from a contemporary Indian
women perspective. The ongoing study
has first and foremost highlighted the
impacts of industrialization on Indian Kara
lite women’s conditions. The second
theme of this paper has consisted in
showing how some of the fictional works
authored by Arundhathy Roy has depicted
and portrayed the social injustice
prevailing in Indian Karalite during the
period under study. Indeed, to achieve its
objective, this research paper has lightly
drawn on the feminist and new historicist
theories while making an attempt to
compare Roy’s portrayal of women of
contemporary Indian women. Keywords:
The image of women, portrayal of women,
contemporary Indian women.
The Status of Women in the God of
Small Things –A Feministic Approach 14
International Journal of Research in
Humanities and Social Studies Examining
the popularity brought to Kerala by this
novel Indira Nityanandam in the article
“God’s Own Country: Kerala in the God
of Small Things” says: “Kerala remains a
vibrant, throbbing presence”. We can
clearly see that Roy excels in evoking the
local flavor and integrating it into the
fabric of the novel. If Malgudi and
Yoknapatawa are etched in the reader’s
mind, so is Ayememem which is probably
today more globally recognizable than
Kashmir. Kerala comes alive not merely in
topographical details but breathes through
the pages in the names, the endearing
terms and dress of the characters.
Pappachi, Mammachi, Mon, Mol,
Chachen, Chetan, Kochamma, help root
the novel in Malayalee society. Kerala is
present not merely in the physical, external
world but is an integral part of the novel in
many more ways.
Though the writers tried to depict
the women as strong and focused in their
vision to succeed in lives, they were,
however, able to succeed in their lives
only in the space allotted to them by the
men. The protagonists in most of the
contemporary novels belonged to the third
world of feminism. These protagonists
were exposed to the changed socio-cultural
situation.

The English Research Express ISSN: 2321-1164 (Online); 2347-2642 (Print)
IJELL-International Journal of English Language and Literature
Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal run by Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India

Available in on line at www.issnjournals.com
Copyright @ 2018 Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India. All rights reserved.
Title of the Paper: FEMINISTIC PERSPECTVE IN ARUNDHATI ROY’S POST MODERN FICTION
GOD OF SMALL THINGS / / Authors: Ms. Shalini. M * and Dr. Mrs. K. B. Jasmine Suthanthira Devi **
Pages: 46-52/ Date of Publication: 25/06/2018

Page
51

Traveling in contemporary situation has
facilitated the third world women for
empowerment. The women, once they
became mobile, automatically tended to
make them dynamic and in turn became
agents responsible for social change.
‘Traveling’ in its general understanding is
the action executed by men. It is related to
the acquirement of knowledge. Travelers
are always men. Their journeys have
always changed the discourse of the world.
The literature evolved out of the travelers
is also patriarchal in perception. The
accounts of the travelers to India like Al
Beruni, Fa Hein, and Huien Tsang etc have
offered a very different version of Indian
history which stood in negation with the
official version of history. The history and
literature created by the travelers though
had its specific distinction, is not devoid of
male perspective.
To subvert this perception, third
world women writers make their women
protagonists to travel across the globe.
Every journey initiates a new vision and
creates a ‘new self’ in the lives of the
women characters presented by third world
women writers. It is this perception that
almost decides the theme in Wife and The
God of Small Things to the greater extent
and in other novels to the lesser extent.
The traveling enables women to overcome
the obstacles like gender, class, race, caste
etc. Despite many international
agreements affirming their human rights,
women are still much more likely than
men to be poor and illiterate.
Conclusion:
espite many
international
agreements affirming
their human rights, women are still much
more likely than men to be poor and
illiterate. They usually have less access
than men to medical care, property
ownership, credit, training and
employment. They are far less likely than
men to be politically active and far more
likely to be victims of domestic violence.
Women empowerment is also an essential
element in national development. Since
women constitute half of the population
there can be no development unless the
needs and interests of women are fully
taken into account. As formal agency, the
government of India wanted to improve
the living conditions of women at different
times. Here education played an important
role for women empowerment. The
activities of the missionary societies in the
field of women’s education have brought
about tremendous changes in the society.

D

The English Research Express ISSN: 2321-1164 (Online); 2347-2642 (Print)
IJELL-International Journal of English Language and Literature
Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal run by Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India

Available in on line at www.issnjournals.com
Copyright @ 2018 Dr. JK Research Foundation, Chennai, India. All rights reserved.
Title of the Paper: FEMINISTIC PERSPECTVE IN ARUNDHATI ROY’S POST MODERN FICTION
GOD OF SMALL THINGS / / Authors: Ms. Shalini. M * and Dr. Mrs. K. B. Jasmine Suthanthira Devi **
Pages: 46-52/ Date of Publication: 25/06/2018

Page
52

References:
Primary Source:
1. Roy, Arundhati. The God of Small
Things. London: Flamingo, 1998.
Secondary Sources:
2. Adhikari, Madhumalathi.
“Enclosure and Freedom: Arundhati
Roy’s God of Small things.”
Explorations Arundhati Roy’s The
God of small things. New Delhi: Nice
Printing Press, 1999.
3. Alieya. Perspective of an Indian
Princess: Los Angeles: CAUSA, April
1, 2003.
4. Amin, Amina. “Text and Counter
Text Oppositional Discourse in The
God of Small Things”. Explorations
Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small
Things. New Delhi: Nice Printing
Press, 1999.
5. Barche, G.D. “The God of Small
Things: A study in Contradictions and
Constraints”.
6. Bentley, Nick. Contemporary British
Fiction. Edinburgh: Edinburg
University Press Ltd, 2008). Accessed
March 16, 2016.
7. Bouzid, Soumia. “The Use of Stream
of Consciousness in Virginia Woolf’s
Mrs. Dalloway.” Ph.D. diss., Kasdi
Merbah University, 2013.
8. Brennan, Zoe. Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
London: Continuum International
Publishing Group, 2010.
9. Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre.
London: Wordsworth Editions
Limited, 1992.
10. Butler, Judith. “Sex and Gender in
Simone de Beauvoir’s Second Sex.”
Yale French Studies No. 72 (1986):
35-49. JSTOR (2930225.)
11. Buzwell, Greg. “Daughters of
decadence: the New Woman in the
Victorian fin de siècle.” British
Library. Accessed March 22, 2016.
12. Shukla, Bhaskar A. Feminism: From
Mary Wollstonecraft to Betty Friedan.
Delhi: Sarup& Sons, 2007.
Online Reference:
http://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-
victorians/articles/daughters-of-
decadence-the-new-woman-in-the-
victorian-fin-de-siecle.