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動画の字幕をクリックしてすぐ単語の意味を調べられます!
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“A few dozen hours can affect the outcome of whole lifetimes/
And that when they do, those few dozen hours,
like the salvaged remains of a burned clock…
must be resurrected from the ruins and examined.”
This is the premise of Arundhati Roy’s 1997 novel "The God of Small Things."
Set in a town in Kerala, India called Ayemenem,
the story revolves around fraternal twins Rahel and Estha,
who are separated for 23 years after the fateful few dozen hours
in which their cousin drowns, their mother’s illicit affair is revealed,
and her lover is murdered.
While the book is set at the point of Rahel and Estha’s reunion,
the narrative takes place mostly in the past, reconstructing the details
around the tragic events that led to their separation.
Roy’s rich language and masterful storytelling
earned her the prestigious Booker prize for "The God of Small Things."
In the novel, she interrogates the culture of her native India,
including its social mores and colonial history.
One of her focuses is the caste system,
a way of classifying people by hereditary social class
that is thousands of years old.
By the mid-20th century,
the original four castes associated with specific occupations
had been divided into some 3000 sub-castes.
Though the caste system was Constitutionally abolished in 1950,
it continued to shape social life in India,
routinely marginalizing people of lower castes.
In the novel, Rahel and Estha have a close relationship with Velutha,
a worker in their family’s pickle factory
and member of the so-called “untouchable” caste.
When Velutha and the twins’ mother, Ammu, embark on an affair,
they violate what Roy describes as the “love laws”
forbidding intimacy between different castes.
Roy warns that the tragic consequences of their relationship
“would lurk forever in ordinary things,” like “coat hangers,” “the tar on roads,”
and “the absence of words.”
Roy’s writing makes constant use of these ordinary things,
bringing lush detail to even the most tragic moments.
The book opens at the funeral of the twins’ half-British cousin Sophie
after her drowning.
As the family mourns, lilies curl and crisp in the hot church.
A baby bat crawls up a funeral sari.
Tears drip from a chin like raindrops from a roof.
The novel forays into the past to explore the characters’ struggles
to operate in a world where they don’t quite fit,
alongside their nation’s political turmoil.
Ammu struggles not to lash out at her beloved children
when she feels particularly trapped in her parents’ small-town home,
where neighbors judge and shun her for being divorced.
Velutha, meanwhile, balances his affair with Ammu and friendship with the twins
not only with his employment to their family,
but also with his membership to a budding communist countermovement
to Indira Ghandi’s “Green Revolution.”
In the 1960s, the misleadingly named “Green Revolution”
introduced chemical fertilizers and pesticides
and the damming of rivers to India.
While these policies produced high-yield crops that staved off famine,
they also forced people from lower castes off their land
and caused widespread environmental damage.
When the twins return to Ayemenem as adults,
the consequences of the Green Revolution are all around them.
The river that was bursting with life in their childhood
greets them “with a ghastly skull’s smile, with holes where teeth had been,
and a limp hand raised from a hospital bed.”
As Roy probes the depths of human experience,
she never loses sight of the way her characters are shaped
by the time and the place where they live.
In the world of "The God of Small Things,"
“Various kinds of despair competed for primacy…
personal despair could never be desperate enough...
personal turmoil dropped by at the wayside shrine of the vast, violent, circling,
driving, ridiculous, insane, unfeasible public turmoil of a nation.”
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

読み込み中…

Why should you read “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy? - Laura Wright

42 タグ追加 保存
林宜悉 2020 年 3 月 20 日 に公開
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