The God Of Small Things English Literature Essay

Intertextuality signifies the inter – connection of one text with other texts and it reveals the presence of one text within the other and highlights the fact that no text can hold an independent significance. Every text takes something from the old texts, and lends something to the hereafter texts. Every text takes something from the old texts, and lends something to the hereafter texts.

“ Intertextuality is the defining of texts ‘ significances by other texts. It can mention to an writer ‘s adoption and transmutation of a anterior text or to a reader ‘s referencing of one text in reading another. “ ( Wikipedia ) .

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The term intertextuality was coined by the poststructuralist theoretician Julia Kristeva in her article Word Dialogue which was published in 1966. Intertextuality by and large signifies that the literary plants are non a closed web and are non independent in nature. Today, intertextuality is used often and it has become a portion of our impression as one observation movie or Television, reading novel, or sing art. Graham Allen describes the construct of intertextuality as one of the cardinal thoughts as he argues: “ Texts, whether they are literary or non-literary, as viewed by modern theoreticians, as missing in any sort of independent significance. They are what theoreticians now call intertextual. The act of reading dips us into a web of textual dealingss. To construe a text, to detect its significance, or significances, is to follow those relation [ . . . ] Meaning becomes something which exists between a text and all other texts to which it refers and relates “ ( Allen, Graham. , Intertextuality: New Critical Idiom Series. Rutledge Publications, London, 2000, p.1 )

The theory of intertextuality is developed by poststructuralist and postmodern theoreticians, has become an effectual appropriation scheme for postcolonial authors. Postcolonialism is chiefly characterized by oppugning and overthrowing the authorization. Pramod K. Nayyar defines postcolonial literature as: “ Postcolonial literatures seek to turn to the ways in which non-European ( Asiatic, African, South American, but besides settler settlement ) literatures and civilizations have been marginalized as an consequence of colonial regulation, and to happen, if possible, manners of opposition, retrieval and reversal of their ‘own ‘ pre- colonial yesteryears. ” ( Nayyar K, Pramod. , Postcolonial Literature: An Introduction. , 2008, Dorling Kindersley publications, Delhi ) .

The sense of interconnection between different civilizations is peculiarly important in the postcolonial context, a context which arises due to the meeting of civilizations. Arundhati Roy uses planetary referenced intertextuality to such a great extent in her novel. Intertextuality as a device in literary texts can be deployed at different degrees.

Roy makes intertextuality a witting motive and device. The comment made on the twins in the context of the Kathakali public presentation: “ Trapped in the bog of a narrative that was and was n’t theirs. That had set out with the gloss of construction and order, so bolted like a scared Equus caballus into lawlessness ” ( Roy, Arundhati. The God of Small Things. New Delhi: India Ink, 1997, p.236 ) . Similarly, a revising of texts is suggested in the description of the twins as “ Hansel and Gretel in a ghastly fairy narrative in which their dreams would be captured and re-dreamed ” ( Roy, p.293 ) . Roy makes extended mentions to texts every bit different as the popular movie The Sound of Music ( Roy, p.105-11 ) , Heart of Darkness ( Roy, p.125-26,199-200,305-06 ) , Chemmeen ( Roy, p.218-20 ) , the Kathakali adult male and his “ Great ” texts like Kama Shabadam ( Roy, p.218-20 ) and Duryodhana Vadham ( Roy, p.229, 234 ) . Many ephemeral allusions are made to texts every bit disparate as popular soap operas like WWF ‘s “ Hulk Hogan and Mr.Perfect ” ( Roy, p.28 ) , Shakespeare ‘s The Tempest, The Jungle Book, The Adventures of Susie Squirrel ( Roy, p.58-59 ) , Sinbad the Sailor ( Roy, p.80 ) , Julius Caesar ( Roy, p.82-83 ) , Ulysses and Penelope ( Roy, p.157 ) , the faery tales about the Three Bears ( 180 ) or the Ugly Toad who turns into a fine-looking prince, Rumplestiltskin ( Roy, p.182 ) , Hansel and Gretel, and even literary texts like The Tale of Two Cities ( Roy, p.61 ) , The Scarlet Pimpernel ( Roy, p.182 ) and so on ( Roy, p.187 ) , a formula for doing jam ( Roy, p.195 ) , and the boatsongs of Kerala ( Roy, p.196-97 ) . The contexts in which these texts are used are, in general, negative or pessimistic.

Roy in her novel particularly in the first few chapters used intertext to make an ambiance of 1960s. She concentrated on manner and civilization to make that ambiance. “ But the skyblue Plymouth with chrome vertical stabilizers was still parked outside.. ” ( Roy, p.2 ) . The reader will finally recognize that the properties from the 1950s belong to Kerala and its dwellers and that many of the properties from the 1960s the reaching of Sophie Mol with her female parent Margaret. “ And so they were at that place, the Foreign Returnees, in wash’n’wear suits and rainbow sunglassesaˆ¦.Maxis and high heels. Puff arms and lip rouge. Mixy – bombers and automatic flashes for their cameras ” ( Roy,140 ) .

Chacko ‘s exwife Margaret and girl Sophie Mol reaching to Kerala is a turning point to the novel. Ammu, Chacko, Estha, Rahel and Baby Kochamma acquire into the “ aˆ¦ skyblue Plymouth with chrome vertical stabilizers aˆ¦ ” ( Roy, p.2 ) to pick them up at the airdrome. The Plymouth auto has many symbolic values. “ The Plymouth used to belong to Pappachi, Rahel and Estha ‘s gramps. Now that he was dead, it belonged to Mammachi, their grandma ” ( Roy,35 ) . The gramps was a adult male who lived harmonizing to the British colonizer ‘s regulations. He was besides a patriarch and harassed his household. However, Chacko has taken Pappachi ‘s function of being the adult male in the house. The fact that the auto is now driven by Chacko, who is a ego proclaimed Marxist, which symbolises the new Marxist swayers of Kerala. The auto is therefore a symbol of entrapment and besides it symbolises the hold in modernness in Kerala. This hold in modernness is emphasised at the airdrome when the household delaies for their invitees from London.

Estha, Rahel and Ammu are being immune and leery of their invitees. This is emphasised by the odor of London and the prosperity brought with the fledglings: “ Then, there, among the wash’n’wear suits and glistening bags, Sophie Molaˆ¦She walked down the track, the odor of London in her hair. Yellow undersides of bells flapped backwards around her mortise joints. Long hair floated out from under her straw hataˆ¦ . “ ( Roy, p.141 ) . Sophie is a symbol of freedom and hence a menace to old Keralan values. She represents a breath of fresh air with rolling pant legs and drifting hair. Uncle Chacko ‘s girl is merely a immature miss and still a menace to Esthas and Rahels world. “ Estha was have oning his ecru and pointy places and his Elvis whiff. His Particular Outing Puff. His favorite Elvis vocal was A?PartyA? . A?Some people like to sway, some people like to turn over, A?he would croon, when cipher was watching, thruming a badminton racket, curving his lip like Elvis. A?But mooninA?anA?a- grooninA? gon na fulfill mah psyche, less have a pardyaˆ¦ ” ( Roy, p.37 ) .

In order to do a good feeling on Margaret and Sophie, Baby Kochamma is demoing off, feigning she is non as behind the clip as the remainder of the household: “ A?Elvis Presley, A? Baby Kochamma said for revenge.A? I ‘m afraid we ‘re a small behind the times here.A? Every one looked at Estha and laughed ” ( Roy, p.145 ) . However, the kids ‘s attractive force to Sophie Mol and the modern universe is at that place: “ And the three of them, led by Sophie Mol, sashayed across the airdrome auto park, rocking like manner theoretical accounts, Eagle flasks and Made-in-England go-go bags knocking around their hips ” ( Roy, p.152 ) .

Further on, in the tragic narrative, Sophie Mol drowns and at her funeral she is still surrounded by her London-ness: “ She lay in it ( the casket ) in her xanthous Crimplene bellbottoms with her hair in a thread and her Made-in-England go-go bag that she loved ” ( Roy, p.4 ) . Now her hair is in a thread. Modernity and alteration will possibly ne’er survive in Kerala. Estha and Rahel ‘s fright of losing their topographic point in the household is partially explained by the The Sound of Music intertext. Before picking up Margaret and Sophie at the airdrome in Cochin, the Ayemenem household went to see The Sound of Music. However Chacko and Ammu had different positions on the movie: “ Chacko said that traveling to see The Sound of Music was an drawn-out exercising in Anglophilia ” , while, “ Ammu said, A?Oh come on, the whole universe goes to see The Sound of Music. It ‘s a World Hit ” ( Roy, p.55 ) . Rahel and Estha were on their manner to Cochin to see The Sound of Music for the 3rd clip. They knew all the vocals and to cognize all the vocals is besides of import to the reader. this clip the movie would intend something particular to the kids. Estha and Rahel are scared of fring their uncle to Sophie Mol and Margaret. They feel as if they are non good plenty. In comparing with the kids in The Sound of Music, no kid would be good plenty: “ Captain von Trapp ‘s seven Mentha piperita kids had had their Mentha piperita baths, and were standing in a Mentha piperita line with their hair slicked down, singing in obedient Mentha piperita voicesaˆ¦ ” ( Roy, p.110 ) .

Estha is decidedly non peppermint clean and he has been molested by the Orangedrink Lemondrink adult male. Shocked by this experience, Estha admirations if of all time a Captain von Trapp, an uncle Chacko or a male parent could love him and Rahel. Estha imagined that “ Captain von Trapp had some inquiries of his ain. ( a ) Are they clean white kids? No. ( But Sophie Mol i s. ) ( B ) Do they blow tongue bubbles? Yes ( But Sophie Mol does n’t. ) ( degree Celsius ) Do they shudder their legs? Like clerks? Yes ( But Sophie Mol does n’t ) ( vitamin D ) Have they, either or both, of all time held aliens ‘ soo-soos? Naˆ¦Nyes ( But Sophie Mol has n’t. ) ” ( Roy, p.106 ) .

Apart from Estha ‘s comparing between him and the Mentha piperita kids in the movie, there are besides several images connected to Baby Kochamma. Baby Kochamma was in her young person really much in love with a Father Mulligan, working in Ayemenem. She decided, at a immature age, to go a nun, while waiting for her love for him to be returned. However, the love was ne’er returned and Baby became disillusioned. In The Sound of Music Julie Andrews or Maria is besides a nun. The life in the convent does, nevertheless, non fit Maria ‘s personality and neither did it suit Baby Kochamma ‘s. They both escaped the convent life. Still, Baby Kochamma “ liked the early nun spots best ” in the movie. “ Ammu explained to Estha and Rahel that people ever loved best what they identified most with ” ( Roy, p.98 ) .

Although Baby Kochamma escaped the convent life, she somehow still identified with the nuns. She is covetous of other people ‘s love and felicity, and particularly Ammu ‘s: “ They [ the nuns ] had ailments to do to their Reverend Mother. Sweetsinging ailments. About Julie Andrews, who was still up in the hills, singing The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music and was, one time once more, tardily for mass ” :

She climbs a tree and scrapes her articulatio genus,

Her frock has got a tear.

She waltzes on her manner to Mass And whistlings on the stairaˆ¦

And underneath her wimple

She has rollers in her hair! ( Roy, p.99-100 )

These wordss will take the reader back to Baby Kochamma ‘s feelings about Ammu and Ammu, a divorced adult female, who should experience shame and guilt over her failures, does the contrary and is in love. “ She subscribed wholeheartedly to the normally held position that a married girl had no place in her parent ‘s place. As for a divorced girl – harmonizing to Baby Kochamma, she had no place anyplace at all. And for a divorced girl from a love matrimony, good, words could non depict Baby Kochamma ‘s indignation. ” ( Roy, p.45 ) . Therefore, within the reading of The Sound of Music the reader besides has to cognize the intertext Let it Be by The Beatles in order to associate Baby Kochamma to the nuns, Julie Andrews to Ammu and green-eyed monster to love.

Ammu is in love with the untouchable adult male Velutha. She has known him all her life and although he is untouchable, Ammu ‘s household has treated him with a certain sum of regard. However, this does non intend that they would accept a relationship between her and Velutha. Therefore, on some yearss, Ammu can non assist experiencing happy, although sad about the fact that he is untouchable for her. She sometimes wakes up to the sound of music, merely as anyone being in love does. Still, Ammu knows that the Torahs say Let it Be. However, as the reader delves farther into the secret plan, Ammu is touched by the untouchable Velutha. Thus, the line “ I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me ” refers to their nightly meetings. Mother Mary is Baby Kochamma, talking for the regulations given by Christianity and Caste systems and yet, Mother Mary is besides love, in the form of Velutha. Through this labyrinth of imaginations the reader can understand how Baby Kochamma hates Ammu.

The novel finally develops into several calamities where one of them is the dismaying stoping of Ammu ‘s and Velutha ‘s relationship and Velutha ‘s decease. There are many co-occuring fortunes, although it is Baby Kochamma ‘s green-eyed monster and personal letdowns that will hold the most annihilating effects. In the movie, Rolf is the oldest Mentha piperita girl ‘s fellow. He is a trustedperson, as if he belonged to the household. He becomes, nevertheless, a Nazi and betrays the household von Trapp. Sadly, a analogue between him and Baby Kochamma can be found. Baby Kochamma besides becomes a informer, although she is one in the household ( Roy, p.313-320 ) . She turns from a nun into a informer. This imagination, it is besides associating Baby Kochamma ‘s treachery with a negative position on Christianity. There are once more a battalion of messages collaborating on different degrees in the intertext The Sound of Music.

Uncle Chacko, the ego proclaimed Marxist, who in a manner is a informer every bit good. From being about as a male parent to Estha and Rahel, he turns his dorsum on them when Margaret and Sophie arrive. Uncle Chacko is therefore a symbol of Marxist thoughts and the Marxist authorities governing Kerala at that clip, a authorities picking the ‘best ‘ apples from the basket of Marxism, merely as Chacko does.

The Love in Tokyo intertext was a successful Bollywood movie released in 1966. The movie secret plan involves out love personal businesss merely as in The God of Small Things. However, the most of import symbol from this intertext is the “ two beads on a gum elastic set ” keeping Rahels hair together: ” Most of Rahel ‘s hair sat on top of her caput like a fountain. It was held together by a Love-in-Tokyo – two beads on a gum elastic set, nil to make with Love or Tokyo. In Kerala Love-in-Tokyos have withstood the trial of clip, and even today if you were to inquire for one at any respectable A-1 ladies ‘ shop, that ‘s what you ‘d acquire. ” ( Roy, p.37 )

Rahel and Estha are twins. I get the feeling from Roy that twins organize a unit, and that when they are separated, they are merely halves. They are “ Two beads on a gum elastic set ” ( Roy, p.37 ) . One of the many calamities in this narrative involves Estha being sent off to populate with his male parent, while Rahel corsets in Ayemenem. The kids do non understand the causes of all the calamities and as kids frequently do, they blame themselves. When they meet in Ayemenem once more, they have non seen each other for 20 old ages. They have hence non bean able to cover with their composites of guilt and separation.

As Rahel saw her brother in the bathroom, she thought of him: “ He was a bare alien met in a opportunity brush. He was the 1 that she had known before life began. The 1 who had one time led her ( swimming ) through their lovely female parent ‘s bitch ” ( Roy, p.93 ) . Now, conceive of the two beads, Rahel and Estha, being pulled apart every bit much as it is possible. As the gum elastic set is at its breaking-point and the puller has to allow travel, the beads will steal out of custodies and by the force of the pulling, clang into each other: “ They were aliens who had met in a opportunity brush. They had known each other before Life began. There is really small that anyone could state to clear up what happened following. Nothing that ( aˆ¦ ) would divide Sexual activity from Love. Or Needs from Feelings ( aˆ¦ ) Merely that there were cryings. Merely that Quietness and Emptiness fitted together like stacked spoons ( aˆ¦ ) Merely that what they shared that dark was non happiness, but horrid heartache. ” ( Roy, p.327-328 )

Roy uses intertextuality to a great extent in order to give the narrative a deeper significance than what it encompasses on a surface degree. However, since a deeper significance can be found in most fictional work when analyzing images and metaphors.


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