A Look at Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things

Lemme tell ya, The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy’s 1997 debut novel, is nothing short of a masterpiece. It tells the story of two fraternal twins, Rahel and Estha, who experience life in its fullness – from love, loss and tragedy to joy, suffering and redemption – as they live with their family in Ayemenem, India. The story has been picked apart for decades, being hailed as one of the most critically acclaimed works of modern fiction.

Roy’s writing style is distinct and complex, often weaving together the magical and the mundane, the tragic and comic, the bitter and sweet. Her language is both poetic and unafraid to confront difficult issues, opening up a space for meaningful exploration of traditional Indian culture, social injustice and human relationships.

Plot Summary

The God of Small Things is set in India, mostly in the small town of Ayemenem. It follows Rahel, Estha and their twinship as they experience life in a family grown apart due to tragedy, love, hate and betrayal.

We follow the story of the twins, Rahel and Estha, who are living with their mother, Ammu. She recently fled a loveless marriage after finding out her husband was cheating on her. We then see them battle with their outcast status in the community caused by their mother’s affair with an Untouchable man.

There is a grand reunion planned for the twin’s estranged father Baba, where Rahel and Estha get to spend some time with him. But upon his return, Baba discovers the affair and sends Ammu away in disgrace. The twins stay behind with relatives, catching glimpses of their father every now and then.

A close-up of a small flower growing in a lush green landscape.

Amidst all this chaos and familial strife, we witness a different kind of love in the midst of the tragedy: the love between Rahel and Estha. They share a bond that can’t be broken, going through thick and thin together.

The climax of the story is when Estha goes missing, leaving Rahel searching for him desperately throughout the town. In the end, we discover the truth about what really happened to Estha, leading up to an unexpected final scene that leaves the reader stunned.


Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things serves up a powerful and moving story that is both deeply personal and social in its themes. While the plot is an easy one to follow, there’s a great depth to its characters and their motivations; as well as a complex network of symbols and images which add layers of meaning, making this book truly special.

The main theme is of course love, but it is depicted in a myriad of guises – from familial, to forbidden, to platonic, and of course romantic. This makes The God of Small Things a nuanced take on human relationships, exploring the complexities of what it means to trust, to love, and to let go. It is done with such skill and finesse that each character’s narrative feels both genuine and deeply affecting.

Roy has cleverly used symbolism throughout the novel to enhance the reading experience. One of the most striking uses of symbolism is the recurring use of water; which is linked to the idea of nostalgia, innocence and even rebirth, while also providing a nice metaphor for change and the passage of time.

Character development is handled masterfully by Roy. When reading The God of Small Things, you can’t help but be taken in by how realistically the characters are portrayed – they are flawed but still loveable, often times naive yet ultimately strong-willed and determined enigmas. It’s this masterful handling of the characters that makes The God of Small Things such a pleasure to read.


When it comes to The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy’s writing style is far and away one of the most impressive elements of this novel. The clarity and precision of her words make for a tale that’s as hard-hitting as it is heartbreaking. Her use of imagery, symbolism and powerful emotions create an unforgettable atmosphere that will stay with readers for days after finishing the book.

Yet on top of all these spectacular things, what makes Roy’s writing truly unique are her sharper insights into the human condition. She provides readers with an honest look at love, loss and family dynamics, often through unconventional means. This kind of storytelling is complex, but surprisingly easy to understand, making it a pleasure to read.

But not all aspects shine so brightly. While Roy’s characters are vivid and believable, they do occasionally lack depth and growth. On the whole, however, The God of Small Things is still an incredible piece of literature; its genre-defying structure and unflinching exploration of truth more than make up for any minor shortcomings.


Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things is a powerful and moving story of love, loss, and the difficulty of growing up in India. It has become an influential work of literature since its publication in 1997 and won Roy the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The novel deals with a number of complex ideas and themes, such as the power of fate, the destruction of dreams, and the effects of war on a family. Through its symbolism and characters, it explores the beauty and tragedy of life, as well as its uncertainty and potential for redemption. Although there are some weaknesses to the book, these do not detract from its overall excellence. In short, this is an excellent novel that should be read by everyone interested in literature.

As you can see, The God of Small Things is a powerful and complex work, one that readers everywhere can identify with. Its expertly written narrative and unique style make it a masterpiece of modern literature. It’s no wonder that it is celebrated worldwide. If you’re looking for something special, look no further than Arundhati Roy’s classic novel.

FAQs About Roy

Is God of Small Things a good read?

Yes, God of Small Things is a great read.

It’s one of those timeless stories that really get you in the guts. Arundhati Roy writes with such intensity and emotion that it’s hard not to appreciate every scene she paints. The story itself is so engrossing and heartbreaking that you can’t help but feel for the characters and their struggles. Each character is so realistically drawn that it’s easy to identify with their struggles and dilemmas. The novel is a slow burn, unfolding in a beautiful and believable way. It’s a great read for anyone who likes a good story, full of emotion and heartbreak, but with moments that also make you laugh and smile. Highly recommended.

Why should you read The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy?

As a reader myself, I can wholeheartedly recommend The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Not only does it tell an incredible story, but it’s also written in a way that immerses you in the lives of the characters, making you feel like you’ve truly stepped into their world. It’s an emotional journey that takes you from joy to heartache and back again.The characters are so vivid and real that it’s almost like you can feel their every emotion and experience their trials and tribulations. Roy has an uncanny ability to make you see the world through their eyes and feel empathy for their struggles.The story is also incredibly complex and layered, with a great deal of attention given to exploring its themes and motifs. From India’s caste system to the power of memory, Roy looks at the past and present with great insight and compassion.Overall, The God of Small Things is a great read. It’s a beautiful, moving book that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it. It’s a must-read for any lover of literature.

Why did Estha and Rahel sleep together?

I remember when I first heard the story of Estha and Rahel sleeping together. It was an incredibly strange occurrence, given their age, and circumstances. At the time, I was just as perplexed as the others in the room. But, upon further investigation, I realized that The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy, sheds some light on the matter.

It turns out that Estha and Rahel were trying to comfort one another as their family unraveled more and more. They were both feeling isolated and confused, and found solace in simply being together. Though their relationship had been forbidden, they wanted to spend as much time together as possible while they still could.

In a way, sleeping together allowed Estha and Rahel to feel safe and supported in a difficult time, while they watched their family’s life fall apart. They sought refuge in one another, and found solace in the comfort of knowing they weren’t facing the situation alone, despite the fact that sleeping together was prohibited.

It’s a sad story, and one that will stick with me for a long time. Estha and Rahel’s story highlights the struggles and complexities of family life and the power of comfort in times of distress. Though forbidden, their choice to sleep together was one of love and understanding, and something I won’t soon forget.

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