Language and the creation of characters in Arundhati Roy's The God of small things

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Emily Stockdale (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site:
Joyce Hollingsworth

Abstract: This thesis will demonstrate how Arundhati Roy uses language psychologically, typographically, structurally, and culturally in her debut novel The God of Small Things. For the purposes of this thesis “language” should be understood to mean not only the spoken or written word but also the way cultural groups understand and communicate to one another through customs and traditions. Roy’s use of language throughout the novel helps the reader better understand her various complex characters, most importantly Estahappen and Rahel, the sevenyearold twins who are most affected by the events that take place within their family and community in 1969. Discussion will focus on the characters’ manipulation of the English language coupled with Malayalam (the twins’ native language) to bring meaning into the confusing context of their lives. In addition, this thesis will explore the power dynamics found in language as it relates to gender. Finally, the use of silence as a language will be discussed in both Velutha and Esthappen. These topics will be analyzed not only in linguistic terms but in postcolonial terms as well.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Linguistics in literature, Personality development in literature , Roy Arundhati--Literary style , Roy Arundhati God of small things--Criticism and interpretation , Silence in literature
Roy, Arundhati. God of small things -- Criticism and interpretation
Roy, Arundhati -- Literary style
Silence in literature
Personality development in literature
Linguistics in literature

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