The god of small things thesis statement

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Oral Reading Evaluation Sheet. Reading Assignment Sheet. Writing Evaluation Form. One Week Quiz A. Two Week Quiz A. Four Week Quiz A. Four Week Quiz B. Eight Week Quiz A. A dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of B. Abstract The aim of this essay is to critically consider Arundhati Roys novel The God of Small Things from a postcolonial feminist perspective, with a special focus on how she models different representations of women, taking as a background the discussions within postcolonial feminism about subalternity and the representations of women from the so-called Third World in theory and literature, as well as the concept of agency from Cultural Studies.

This purpose is reached by studying and comparing three main female characters in the novel: Mammachi, Baby Kochamma and Ammu, centering on their different ways of relating to the male hero of the novel, Velutha, an Untouchable in the lingering caste system of India. The essay argues that Roy has contributed with diverse representations of subaltern women in the Third World whodespite their oppressed and marginalized statusdisplay agency and are portrayed as responsible for their own actions. Acknowledgement I would like to say thanks to Sir, Mohammad Ashraf Kaloe Sahib who is my research supervisor and being a supervisor he helped me during the process of dissertation.

Whenever I felt any kind trouble regarding my research perspective he helped me in better understanding of research. Not only in the process of research he helped me but in the whole career of my B. S English, he supported me with his good hand of knowledge and encouraged me always. I would also like to say thanks to Sir, Asadullah Lashari Sahib. He has also helped me in the process of writing my research and he has also developed my intellectual in the whole process of my learning at MBBS Campus Dadu.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to Madam Ume Kalsoom Rind, who is head of department of English. Being a head of department with lots of official responsibilities she take out time for me during the process of research writing and she helped me a lot for better understanding of my research. I also would like to say thanks to Nadeem nabi, who also helped me during the process of research writing and further I would like to say thanks to all of my friends who supported me during my this journey of research.

Due to the authors Indian nationality, some critics hailed her as a female Rushdie, establishing. Meanwhile, in some parts of India there were violent public riots due to its caste transgressive content, and some left-wing critics chastised Roys negative portrayal of the communist party in the novel Mullaney Apart from raising controversies as well as acclaim, Roys novel has also been analyzed by scholars from various theoretical angles: feminism, post colonialism, post- structuralism, Marxism, new historicism and so on see for example Boehmer ; Mullaney ; Pathak The aim of this essay is to critically consider Roys novel from a postcolonial feminist perspective, with a special focus on how she models different representations of women, taking as a background the discussions about subalternity and the representations of women from the so called Third World in theory and literature, as well as the concept of agency from Cultural Studies.

The term subaltern, although somewhat disputed, is commonly used in a general sense to represent subordinated classes and peoples in short marginalized groups and the lower classes, especially in formerly colonized, Third World countries Young 6. The purpose of exploring how Roy fictionally constructs marginalized female voices will be reached by studying and comparing three main female characters in The God of Small ThingsMammachi, Baby Kochamma and Ammucentering on their different ways of relating to Velutha, the male hero of the novel.

These three women relate to and respond in different ways to Velutha, who is a Paravan, the lowest caste among the Untouchables. The characters are chosen because they are adults when the main events in the story take place, which makes it easier to discuss their actions in terms of agency and responsibility. The main events in The God of Small Things take place during some December weeks in and the setting is Ayemenem, a town in the equatorial south Indian state of Kerala.

Haunted by memories from the past, the novel is something of an excavation of a trauma; Rahel looks back at her life to examine it. Postmodern in its handling of time, the plot circles between the present and the past, digging deeper and deeper into the tragic secrets of Rahels life with an effect similar to that of a detective story, keeping the reader anxious and curious about how things really happened to the very end.

More and more details are added, more and more perspectives are offered as the narrator flashes restlessly forwards and backwards. Out of the many qualities about her novel one is that the reader has the privilege to see a course of events from several very different vantage points, and this is also reflected in the novels epigraph: Never again will a single story be told as though its the only one John Berger. Roy weaves her plot, thread by thread, into a colorful, multifaceted story; added to the narrative are different cultural references to Shakespeare, The Sound of Music, Kathakali traditional drama-dance and the music of The Rolling Stones which create a patchwork of associations and connotations.

But the novel is not just a beautiful and intricate postmodern saga; it is definitely an intervention into especially Indian culture with its close, almost overdone description of caste transgressive intimacy, and its critical account of the local communist leader and Kerala communism in general. And to this we may add that it is a novel written by and seen through the eyes of a Third World woman and almost all of the central characters are Third World women.

While bearing this political dimension in mind, we now turn to some relevant theories that inform the analyses in this essay. Thereafter a survey of the discussions within postcolonial feminism about western feminists relationship with and representations of Third World women will follow. Proceeding from there the essay further explores the notion of subalternity and strategic essentialism succeeded by a discussion about voice, representations and role models within the specific Indian context.

The theory section is finally closed with a paragraph introducing and defining the concept of agency. The chosen theoretical framework has been assessed as productive in the close reading, analysis and discussion of the characters in the novel. As stressed by Robert Young, the term Third World was intended as a positive, empowering label for a different perspective on political, economic, and cultural global priorities than the predominant polarized world order with capitalism on the one side and Soviet communism on the other Young However, that third way was never properly defined, and over time the term instead became associated with the problems of the Third World rather than unique solutions, and it gradually became a pejorative.

Another weakness with the concept is that it conceals the many social and cultural differences that exist within the Third World; there is simply no such uniform group of countries. It is important to remember though that these concepts are, as McLeod puts it: provisional categories of convenience rather than factual denotations of fixed and stable groups Regardless of which concept we use, the fact remains that an average Third World woman does not exist, which is why any common label would conceal a number of historical and cultural differences.

When reading a text from a feminist point of view regardless of what branch of feminism you belong to they suggest that we should look at how [it] represents women, what it says about gender relations, how it defines sexual difference Belsey and Moore 1. As already mentioned the focus of this essay is how the women in Roys novel are represented but also, as will be demonstrated later on, how the expectations towards women are very much different from those on men.

However, a common goal in both post colonialism and feminism is challenging forms of oppression whatever they look like, and each context has its own, unique structures of oppression McLeod In Roys description of Kerala in the novel, there are several layers of oppression stemming from colonialism, patriarchy, religion and caste. These structures are often intertwined and serve as a complex oppressive system that is sometimes difficult to dissect. Roy also allows her narrator to give a quite unflattering version of why Marxism grew particularly strong in Kerala: the real secret was that communism crept into Kerala insidiously.

A reformist movement that never overtly questioned the traditional values of a caste-ridden, it is extremely traditional community Thus, according to the narrator in this novel, the communist party in Kerala did very little to challenge the caste system in itself, despite their high-pitched slogans that Caste is Class, comrades Another thing that is interesting to bear in mind while reading this novel is the relatively high status of women in Kerala compared to the rest of India possibly due to earlier matrilineal kinship systems Encyclopedia Britannica. This higher status might perhaps serve as part of an explanation to the strength of agency that some of the female characters display.

However well-meant, universal claims of a global womanhood always run the risk of marginalizing someone and of leaving culturally specific patterns of power and oppression unseen. Chandra Talpade Mohanty criticizes western feminists in her essay Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses and accuses many of them for unconsciously reproducing the unequal power relations that already is at work politically and financially, within their analysis Mohanty Mohanty shows how Third World women are often described in sweeping terms as religious, family-oriented, illiterate and domestic, placing them in a position as the other in contrast to the allegedly more progressive and modern women in the First World.

She concludes: Sisterhood cannot be assumed on the basis of gender; it must be forged in concrete historical and political practice and analysis Mohanty also notes that the relationships between women are often ignored, as well as different kinds of relationships between women and men. This is why Roys novel is particularly interesting because it focuses on how women relate to other women but also to different kinds of men. There is no standard male-female dichotomy in the novel but rather a plurality of relationships.

Hopefully it is by now clear to the reader how far-fetched it is to assume that all women share the same cultural or political interests only because of their similar bodies. Women as a group are more likely to be deeply divided by boundaries like class, ethnicity, and nationality. The fact that all women share similar biological features does not mean that they also share the same culture, values, beliefs and experiencesand therefore the First World feminist must learn to stop feeling privileged as a woman Instead, she should ask herself what she can learn from them and speak to them instead of always trying to speak for them However, Spivak is not ethnocentric in the sense that she would believe that only Indian women can speak for other Indian women McLeod Considering this, it becomes of course very difficult to speak for anyone else with different experiences from yours.

In her ground-breaking essay can the Subaltern Speak? Spivak addresses these issues in depth and scrutinizes the Subaltern Studies Groups attempts to revise the history writing of colonial India by revisiting historical colonial archives, where reports of subaltern insurgency has been filed, in an attempt to retrieve subaltern perspectives. Spivak in a deconstructive manner perceives human consciousness as something that is being continuously constructed from the discourses surrounding us rather than created by an autonomous agency, as if we were sovereign subjects.

The same applies to subaltern women, and the subaltern as female is even more deeply in shadow than subaltern men, because of the male dominance in these archives concerning subaltern insurgency Can the Subaltern Speak In an interview from , Spivak clarifies that her use of the term subaltern was and is very specific; the pure subaltern cannot, by definition, move upwards in the social hierarchy or make his or her voice heard. To speak, in Spivaks sense, is when there has been a transaction between the speaker and the listener and to her there is something of a not- speakingness in the very notion of subalternity The Spivak Reader There is for us no feeling of romantic attachment to pure subalternity as such Clearly, Spivak wishes to delimit the term subaltern to hinder it from becoming watered down.

If we apply this narrow definition of subalternity, there is in fact no such character in The God of Small Things. Not even Velutha, who is a Paravan with a future, with skills and brains which should allow him to move upwards in society, had he not fallen in love with a Touchable woman. If there is such a character in the novel pure subaltern, according to Spivak , perhaps Veluthas brother, Kuttappen, would be the best example.

He lies inside their hut paralyzed from his chest downwards after falling off a coconut tree, unable to move, a good, safe Paravan who could neither read nor write He is, so to speak, the ultimate symbol for non-agency; he does not have the possibility to make significant choices of any kind. In a short passage, the narrator lets us know some of his thoughts: On bad days the orange walls held hands and bent over him, inspecting him like malevolent doctors, slowly, deliberately, squeezing the breath out of him and making him scream.

Sometimes they receded of their own accord, and the room he lay in grew impossibly large, terrorizing him with the specter of his own insignificance. That too made him cries out This scream becomes a symbol for his inability to speak; his voice becomes a scream that echoes unheard. Otherwise Kuttappen is almost absent in the novel, he lies silently in his hut and he will most likely not be able to move upwards in society but will remain very dependent on others: a truly and sadly pure subaltern.

The three female characters that will be discussed later in this paper may all experience oppression in various extents, but at the same time they are also able to speak on different occasions and they do exercise agency to a quite substantial degree. However, one could easily agree with McLeod in that Spivak open[s] herself to the charge of having things both ways by dismissing on theoretical grounds the subaltern subject while supporting elsewhere those projects which still subscribe to notions of essential subjectivity Bart Moore-Gilbert criticizes Spivak for being contradictory and incoherent in her critical writings, especially in her effort to bring Marxism and deconstruction in critical alignment.

He also accuses Spivak of committing the same fault that she blames the Subaltern Studies Group for by constructing the subalterns identity in essentialist terms in her attempt to define subalternity. To qualify to the dubious title of subalternity, as Moore-Gilbert reads Spivak, the individual has to be virtually outside the global economy, marginalized to the extent just short of a caveman, so to speak.

Furthermore, she also errs by claiming that the subaltern cannot speak because when stating this she obviously speaks for those she claims that others should not try to speak for. Moore-Gilbert also foresees the effect of Spivaks writings as the more the subaltern is seen as a theoretical fiction. Thus, Spivaks work runs the risk of leaving the non-subaltern critic with a hopeless feeling that nothing really can be done on behalf of the subaltern.

Due to Spivaks extremely exclusive use of the term subaltern, the more general definition suggested by Robert Young will be employed in this essay, defining subalternity as including marginalized, subordinated classes and groups of peoples Young 6. You can only create awareness. Educate them. They must launch their own struggle.

They should overcome their fears Hence, Roy seems to be aware of the problems connected with representing individuals from diverse socio-economic habitats. Spivak would perhaps argue that Roy is erring when she, as a middle-class, educated woman and author, seeks to give voice to the oppressed.

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However, Spivak might nevertheless approve of Roys intervention due to that the author is most likely acting out of a scrupulously visible political interest which Spivak feels sympathetic to and welcomes as a kind of strategic essentialism. There are other critics who definitely acknowledge Roys potential to represent the hitherto silent.

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Anita Singh sees the novel as a discourse of the marginalized and subordinated as it crystallizes the issues of atrocities against. The writing subject itself [Roy] belongs to the rank of the hitherto silent. The act of authorship is an act of retrieval as well as an act of liberation By this Singh points to the fact that Roy has relevant personal experiences that she uses for her story; she has grown up as a woman in a small Indian village as the daughter of a Syrian Christian mother and a Hindu father, and her parents divorced when Roy was young Mullaney 7.

Singh concludes: The book becomes the voice of all those who are relegated to the margins of society It could be worth noting here that womens voices have indeed been marginalized in postcolonial India. Ketu H. Katrak has pointed out that even though Indias national leader Mahatma Gandhi did much to mobilize women in the nationalist movement through passive resistance, which feminized the usually masculine struggle against the colonizer, he never intended to confuse mens and womens roles and challenge patriarchal traditions that oppressed women within the home Katrak Furthermore, Gandhi often used symbols from Hindu mythology, intended to serve as role models for women.

Katrak continues: The notion of female suffering in the Hindu tradition is dangerously glorified through such use of mythological models. The subconscious hold of socialization patterns inculcated in girls through the popular mythological stories of the ever- suffering Sita as virtuous wife, or the all-sacrificing Savitri who rescues her husband from death are all part of the preparation for suffering in their roles of wives and mothers By using such myths as representations and role models for girls and women, Katrak argues that Gandhi extended an ideology where female sexuality was legitimately embodied only in marriage, wifehood, motherhood, domesticityall forms of controlling womens bodies All these feminized role models are alive and well in present day India, and as every other postcolonial female writer, Roy has to address the expectations imposed upon women, as they are part of the overarching structures that influences everyday life.

Susheila Nasta describes the mission like this: the post-colonial woman writer is not only involved in making herself heard, in changing the architecture of male-centered ideologies and languages, or in discovering new forms and language to express her experience, she has also to subvert and demythologize indigenous male writings and traditions which seek to label her xv. The character Ammu as well as her daughter Rahel is not apt to conform to these female role models; in fact they often act contrary to the expectations imposed on them, despite the social cost of transgressing the conventions.

She further describes how Roy carefully delineates not their false homogeneity as representations of oppressed third world woman but the range of options and choices, whether complicit, resistantor bothto the dominant order It is in these characterizations, similar to strategic essentialism; that Roy offers us a scope of detailed, varied and subtle representations of what a marginalized Third World woman might be.

The options and choices, Mullaney speaks of are similar to the idea of agency in cultural theory. This concept will be used in the character analysis later and is defined by Chris Barker as the socially constructed capacity to act , meaning that all humans are subjects that in some way or other are determined, caused and produced by social forces that lie outside of themselves as individuals , This will also be the perspective on agency employed in this essay; even if an individual could never be described as wholly undetermined from the outside world, she does have opportunities to choose, or as Barker puts it: We clearly have the existential experience of facing and making choices Jonathan Culler adds to this that the question of agency is the question of how far we can be subjects responsible for our own actions and how far our apparent choices are constrained by forces we do not control These other forces the structure in this context could be for instance the caste-system, patriarchy, colonialism, religion and politics.

The structures of power and oppression are often referred to and discussed by Roy in The God of Small Things but the individual perspective is never being neglected. I believe that Roy intended to make a difference with her novel, to create representations of people on the margin that are seldom heard in depth.

Chapter Three Research Methodology 3. It provides knowledge regarding the research design and framework for collecting data. In this chapter it is shown that in this research textual analysis and qualitative method have been shown. It also uses the ground theory method of data collection. This study assigns with discernment of reclaiming voices on the margin in the God of small things. It uses document analysis as to interpret and to compare the written data of the text or the books.

In this research the qualitative method has been used as to get awareness regarding the complex situation. The primary resource is text of Arundhati Roys God of small things. It shows that the qualitative research studies the things in their real settings as subject matter is written. It involves case study, personal experience, introspective, life story interview, observational, historical, interactional and visual texts which describes routine and problematic moments and meaning in individuals life qtd in joniak, Lisa. D the research paradigms PDF.

Qualitative research includes a set of interpretive, material practices that makes the world visible. Qualitative research is a situated activity that locates the observer in the world. They transform the world into a series of representations, including field notes, interviews, conversations, photographs, recordings, and memos to the self. So, the analyzing of textbooks can be done through using of different methods. In this analysis qualitative research purposes to analyze the matter of the given textbooks, as to discover reclaiming voices on the margin in the God of small things of Arundhati Roy.

It is process by which data is gathered.

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It is way for researchers to comprehend the ways in which members of various cultures and subcultures make sense of who they are and in which range of the world they can be fit into be lived. Frey, L. The important considerations in textual analysis include selecting the types of texts to be studied, acquiring appropriate texts, and determining which particular approach is suitable to employ in analyzing them. Therefore Textual Analysis is way to look deeply into the text for getting information.

It comes in the category of Qualitative research. They are talking about that it is not just abstract theorizing. Charmaz defines it as it is a way of conductive Qualitative research which focuses on creating conceptual frameworks of theories through building inductive analysis from the data. Therefore, in the data analytic categories are directly grounded. This method prefers analysis over description, fresh categories over preconceived ideas and extant theories and it focuses systematically on sequentially data collection over large initial samples.

The vigilant choiceness between data collection and analysis phases of traditional research is intentionally obfuscated in Grounded Theory studies. Character Analysis the first and eldest of these three characters is called Mammachi, meaning simply grandmother her full name is Soshamma Ipe ; she is from a Syrian-Christian family and wife to the late Pappachi meaning grandfather, his full name is Benaan John Ipe , who hit Mammachi regularly with a brass-vase, leaving crescent shaped scars on her skull.

She has one daughter, Ammu the black sheep of the family , and a son, Chacko a Rhodes-scholar, educated in Oxford. Mammachi starts a small business in making pickles and jams in her kitchen, a business her son Chacko soon takes charge of and develops into a factory when he moves back home after his divorce. Mammachi thinks highly of her family as well as of herself and has an almost obsessive habit of ranking every person she ever meets, which normally ends up with them being situated somewhere down below her in the hierarchy of her mind.

Towards her husband, she displays the mentioned idealized suffering wife attitude, submits herself to him, accepts her fate and projects her repressed anger at other people, for example at Ammu, her rebellious daughter. The second character, Baby Kochamma Navomi Ipe , is Mammachis short but voluminous sister- in-law and Ammus aunt, much feared and loathed by Ammus children.

She embodies a mixture of willfulness and adaption towards her familys customs and traditions, but most of all she is a significantly shrewd lady and a master in the skill of manipulation and conspiracy. Sadly in love for her whole life with an unattainable Irish monk, she ends up an old maid living in her fathers house, where she, among other things, is in charge of the formal education of Ammus twins.

Ammu is the unruly daughter of the house, who manages to escape her abusive father and suppressed, wretched mother by hurriedly accepting a marriage proposal from a Bengali Hindu man during a visit to a distant relative in Calcutta. Her future husband works as a tea estate assistant manager up in Assam and seems like an acceptable match in Ammus eyes but unfortunately he turns out to have severe alcoholic problems.

After a couple of years in an increasingly dreadful marriage she divorces him and moves back to Ayemenem with their two children, Estha and Rahel two-egg twins , to everything that she had fled from a few years ago. Except that now she had two young children. And no more dreams Ammu is most unwelcome when she gets back to the house in Ayemenem and her father dos not even believe her when she tells him about how her former husband wanted to sell her like a prostitute to save his own skin. Mammachi, who has put up with years and years of beating and humiliation, is also quite discontent with her rebellious, and now also divorced daughter, and Baby Kochamma despises her more than anyone else because she feels that Ammu is quarreling with a fate that she, Baby Kochamma herself, felt she had graciously accepted.

The fate of the wretched Man- less woman During these circumstances Ammu falls in love with Velutha, who works as a carpenter in the pickle factory, and their love story is at the center of this novel. Velutha is a Paravan, the lowest kind of the Untouchable outcastes. He lives with his father and brother in a small laterite hut nearby the Ayemenem house where his father has been working for many years.

Velutha is extremely gifted with his hands. As a boy he makes intricate little boxes and other minute toys out of dried palm reeds that he brings to Ammu on his palm. Mammachi persuades Veluthas father to send Velutha to the Untouchables school to learn how to read and write. He finishes school at age sixteen and is by then also a trained carpenter, despite his caste.

Velutha works as a carpenter and mechanic in the pickle factory and around the Ayemenem house, maintaining and mending everything from clocks and water pumps to the bottle machines in the factory. Mammachi with impenetrable Touchable logic often said that if only he hadnt been a Paravan, he might have become an engineer Chacko says that Velutha practically runs the factory These quotes reveal that Velutha has achieved an extraordinary position after all, despite being a Paravan. In the case of Velutha it is obvious to see that he is marginalized and subordinated; being a Paravan and an Untouchable the society he lives in still regards his kind as inferior and unclean.

Roy gives us a somewhat euphemistic picture of his status when the narrator shows us how Velutha appears in Ammus dream: He left no footprints in sand, no ripples in water, no image in mirrors This is a reflection of the subaltern position of the Untouchables in the old days that Mammachi tells her grandchildren about, the days when [p] aravans were expected to crawl backwards with a broom, sweeping away their footprints so that Brahmins or Syrian Christians would not defile themselves by accidentally stepping into a Paravans footprint Velutha is encouraged to go to school though not together with Touchables but to a special school for Untouchables only.

But as time goes by, Velutha crosses several lines; apart from learning how to read and write, he becomes a trained carpenter, when traditionally a Paravan should stick to simpler activities like toddy tapping, picking coconuts and so on. He secretly becomes a member of the communist party and participates in a political march organized by the Marxist labor Union.

So being born a Paravan, Velutha transgresses many of the lines that society expects him to stay behind. All the same, in many ways Velutha is the most oppressed and downtrodden of the main characters in the noveldespite being a man. Ammus marginalization is also quite obvious; she is a divorced woman with two children to take care of. They live on sufferance in her parents house where she is disregarded by her relatives, especially Baby Kochamma who is eager to make Ammu and her twins understand that they really have no right to be [there] As a teenager, Ammu does not conform to the expectations on her that she should wait obediently in her parents house for a suitable husband.

Instead she more or less escapes her parents and marries the first man who proposes to her, outside her parents religion and without their consent, and after a couple of years she decides to divorce him as well. Ammus brother, Chacko, reminds her children that their mother has no locus standi, no legal rights to inherit the factory or the house for instance Intentionally or not, he pronounces the word Locust Stand I, making it sound like Locust, a grasshopper, perhaps implying that their mother is more or less a kind of parasite in the Ayemenem household.

In the end, she is in fact literally kicked out of her parents house by this very same brother. If Ammu is on the margin, her children are even more so.

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Their vulnerable position makes Ammu very protective towards them and even if she is quick to reprimand them she is even quicker to take offense on their behalf Even though Ammu is disregarded and perhaps even despised by her family, she is also sometimes feared by them because they can sense an unsafe edge in her, being a woman that they had already damned, [who] now had little left to lose, and could therefore be dangerous Rahel ponders over this unsafe edge and this air of unpredictability that surrounds Ammu: It was what she had battling inside her.

An unmixable mix, The infinite tenderness of motherhood and the reckless rage of a suicide bomber This quote illustrates the opposing forces that Ammu carries inside her; as a mother she strives to love and protect her children at all cost but as an individual she is desperate to break free from and rebel against the smug, ordered world that surrounds her. Ammu is, like Velutha, a transgressor of boundaries, a person unwilling to submit to the role models presented to her.

Mammachi and Baby Kochamma are both Syrian Christians, a proud minority group in Kerala of around twenty percent a large number of Christians for an Indian state , who believe themselves to be descendants of the one hundred Brahmins whom St. Thomas the Apostle converted to Christianity when he traveled east after the Resurrection In the social hierarchy of Kerala, they are upper-caste Syrian Christians, separating them from the lowlier Rice-Christians who like Veluthas grandfather joined the British colonialists Anglican Church encouraged by a little food and money.

However, the minority position of the Syrian Christians does not mean that they are degraded or downtrodden by the Hindu majority; far from it. They are by and large, the wealthy, estate-owning pickle-factory-running , feudal lords In fact, they are so to speak remnants of the old colonial elite and descendants of those Indians who were part of the steel frame of British in India, the Indian Civil Service Mullaney Chacko also explains this to the twins, that though he hated to admit it, they were all Anglophiles.

They were a family of Anglophiles And as such, the Ipe family is somewhat on the edge in postcolonial, communist Kerala. This position becomes particularly clear in the case of Baby Kochamma, who develops a strong fear of the communists and a fear of being dispossessed, as will be explained later.

The banana jam was banned illegal by the Food Products Organization because it according to their specifications. Too thin for jelly and too thick for jam. An ambiguous, unclassifiable consistency.