Subaltern Other in God of Small Things

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Table of contents

  1. Widowhood and Divorce-hood in Subalternization of Women
  2. Role of Patriarchy in Subalternization of Women
  3. Casteism in Promoting Subalternization

Widowhood and Divorce-hood in Subalternization of Women

Roy has investigated the inconveniences of divorced and widows in The God of Small Things. The destiny of divorced women also is brought to the fore in The God of Small Things. Comrade Pillai's way to express the word as 'Di- vorced', presents mortality to Rahel. Divorced Margaret is close to a prostitute in Mammachi's eyes. Baby Kochamma's frame of mind towards isolated Ammu is typically Indian. Indian culture occasionally acknowledges widowhood sympathetically, however not a divorced woman. A widow does not have any status either in her parents' home or in the community. The reality turns out to be obvious from the remarks made by Baby Kochamma:“She subscribed wholeheartedly to the commonly held view that a married daughter had no position in her parent’s home. As for a divorced daughter –according to baby Kochamma, she had no position anywhere at all. And as for a divorced daughter from a love marriage, well, words could not describe Baby Kochamma’s outrage. As for a divorced daughter from an intercommunity love marriage—Baby Kochamma chose to remain quaveringly silent on the subject.” (Roy 45-46).

Roy's perspective is that even in a generally educated society like Kerala, womens' sufferings have been doubled by individuals from their very own family and own gender. Ammu's return in her home in Ayemenem with the twins makes an exceptionally upsetting situation. It significantly outraged her relatives. Everyone is hesitant to offer a space for a divorced person. It is not clearly past their capacity to give her a good means for survival in her own family. Her unwelcome arrival to Ayemenem offers the individuals from the family and society the chance to resyrain her. Kochamma convey her hatred on their faces. Her own family ignores her and affront her on different events utilizing various reasons. Local people likewise begin keeping away from her. No one comprehend with her and accordingly socially she is treated as an outsider. Despite the fact that she ought to have rights to her share, she is driven out by her own home. She turns into a subaltern in her very own family. She builds up a feeling of estrangement. For a period, Ammu digests the disgrace heaved by her sibling, Chacko, and the awful comments of the neighborhood moralists as she has the weight of raising her kids without any help. She can neither neglect them nor can raise them up in a solid domain. They resemble achievements round her neck for the transgression she submitted by damaging the 'adoration laws'. Being a divorced person and mother of two kids, Ammu has no 'Lucus Standi' in the society. She and her children are parasites at her own home. Thus male domination within her family and social prejudice against a divorcee doubles Ammu’s sufferings and distress and ultimately pushes her into the pit of isolation, and frustration (Chaskar 170).

The idea of subalternization and silencing of women had been there in the mind of Indian people from time immemorial. In the Vedic time numerous Indian women needed to forgo their lives in the Chita (funeral pyre) after the demise of their husband. Widows used to accept that they had no presence of their own and in this way, after the death of their husband, numerous women believed that it was pointless to live alone. If anyone survived and tried to lead a normal life, she had to face various troubles and vexations and had to lead an utterly miserable life as a socially outcast and religiously untouchable undergoing patriarchal subjugation, social condemnation and economic discrimination (Chaskar 170). Generally, marriage of widows were considered a taboo (S. Tharu and K. Lalita 23-43, 359-63). So, widows were denied of the rights to have a second companion after the end of the first. Hence, in the patriarchal society, women were rendered down and out from multiple points of view. Despite the fact that the circumstance of women has improved a great deal in the post independent India, there are numerous issues yet to be tended to and settled.

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Role of Patriarchy in Subalternization of Women

The devilish impact of patriarchy has pushed the 'gendered subaltern other' to a delicate and defenseless state. Subalternization and silencing of women go on at various levels and in various structures and hues in India and are propagated by various powers in the society. Age-old convention of patriarchy, social and religious practices, and political and authoritative operators, combined with information and power have contributed enormously to the subalternization and silencing of women. Thus Ayemenem, the anecdotal town of The God of Small Things, situated in Kerala, presents incidents every now and again happening all over India.Patriarchy is psychological, social, cultural and crude explicit. Subalternization and subdue of women go on at various structures and shading in Indian culture and are sustained by various powers in the society. As a member of prevailing patriarchal culture Reverend Ipe dependably attempts to control the female members of his family. Pappachi likewise thinks about his family's honor and protects the biased values. Mammachi turns into a prey to patriarchy. Aleyooty Ammachi, Rahel's great grandmother's accommodation and disappointment are obviously recommended in one of the images hung on the wall of the Ayemenem house: “Aleyooty Ammachi looked more hesitant. As though she would have liked to turn around but couldn’t. Perhaps it wasn’t as easy for her to abandon the river. With her eyes she looked in the direction that her husband looked. With her heart she looked away.” (Roy 30)

The portrayal of the picture demonstrates how Ammachi's life was to the prevailing patriarchy culture, a fundamental agency of female domination, manipulation and subalternization. Ammachi wanted to see the magnificence of the world with her very own eyes however she could not move her eyes on account of her better half's ethical inflexibility. The representation clarifies how patriarchal society controlled their lives and put huge effect on taste and decision, likes and dislikes of women in India. Pappachi, Ipe's commendable successor, forced standards, guidelines and confinements on the female members of the family and controlled their lives.Arundhuti Roy's The God of Small Things is a striking prosecution of patriarchy and the inequity and abuse delivered upon women in this andocentric culture. Mammachi, Ammu, Baby Kochamma, Margaret Rahel are examples. Mammachi's entomologist husband, Pappachi, torments her psychologically and physically (Roy 47-48). Mammachi's pickle making occupation gains Pappachi's apprehensive glares rather than support. He dislikes the recognition she gets in the public eye for her ability in it. Pappachi's arrogance puts Mammachi's art for music to an end. Few words of acclaim from the music educator incites him to put a finish of her training suddenly. Pappachi used to hit Mammachi and lastly stopped speaking to her until his passing. Along these lines, Mammachi's situation in her very own home is no superior to a 'subaltern other'. She turns into a 'subaltern other' in her very own home.

Chacko, another patriarchal voice in the Ayemenem house, appreciates all benefits, which are purposely denied to his sister, Ammu. He sexually misuses female workers in his pickle manufacturing plant. He calls pretty women who work in the factory to his room, and on the pretext of lecturing them on labour and trade union law, flirt with them outrageously (Roy 55). Chacko's room is stacked with books. He has perused every one of them and quotes long sections from them just to dazzle and charm the pretty women working in his manufacturing plant. This self-declared Marxist pulverizes the basics of Marxism however communism and socialism do not empower sex exploitation. Rights forever, freedom, property, and quest for joy are unavoidable rights invested on people by their creator. Roy's The God of Small Things raises criticism against the distortion and abuse of power, politics, social frameworks, traditions, standards, culture, custom, religion and knowledge. Roy's voice of challenge conveys huge load in criticizing religious and social foundations like the church, family traditions, civil administration etc.

Casteism in Promoting Subalternization

Caste and class system still shake and stun Indian culture. Political groups utilize the station and network card to receive most extreme rewards. Indeed, even dynamic democrats, regardless of their political philosophy, accidentally sustain social disparity, religious narrow mindedness and racial separation. The diverse experiences include the Indian and settlers, Hindus and Christians, the last being to a great extent an inheritance of the British Empire. In Kerala both the locals and the pioneers live with the awareness of being once colonized and the colonizers separately. The diverse experiences during the British Empire still aggravate society despite the fact that India rose as a free state in 1947. The only difference that becomes obvious that those evils have returned in a new mould (Hossain 107-1033). Roy exhibits an intense sense in introducing and unfurling the entire situation with discrete rightness. Casteism and class feeling is a social and cultural contradiction. In India higher caste individuals relish more riches and freedom than lower caste individuals who perform manual occupations. Among the lower caste individuals, untouchables have the most reduced standing and as a rule the least monetary position. The ‘touchable’ workers at Paradise Pickles sniff at him because Paravans were not meant to be carpenters. (Roy 77,159). Despite the fact that Velutha is more gifted than some other workers in the manufacturing plant, he is paid less by Chacko. He abuses Velutha on the ground of his being an untouchable Pariah. Untouchables happen to be a subaltern race in post-independent Indian culture.

Inspector Matthew and the 'crusader of the abused' Comrade Pillai, intentionally greet each other to support the false FIR held up against him by schemy Baby Kochamma, only on the ground that every one of them are touchable while Velutha is an untouchable. Comrade Pillai does not specify that he is a supporter of the Communist Party. At somewhere else Comrade is seen discussing with Chacko, the proprietor of the Paradise Pickles, Velutha's release from his work:“But see, comrades any benefits that you give him, naturally others are resenting it. They see it as a partiality. After all, whatever job he does, carpenter or electrician or whatever, it is for them he is just a Paravan. It is a conditioning they have from birth.... Better for him you send him off.” (Roy 279)

The essential standards of the communist party – fairness and social equity for all — give an impression of being a way to fulfill their lustful greed and other special needs, prompting common hardship in the state. The socio-political air of Ayemenem is totally dirtied with deception, trickery, shamefulness and disgraceful human conduct and result in a nightmarish situation. When Chacko came to know the relation of Ammu and Velutha he threatens her to oust her from the house and break all her bones (Roy 225). According to Syrian high society Christians the untouchables Veluthas and Vellaya Pappans are not human beings; they are not any more significant than animals. To the previous the later are Pariahs, the ‘Pariah dogs’. Caste awareness is so prevalent in Indian culture that the pure and high attempt a wide range of strategies to parade their prevalence. The maid Kochu Maria puts on Kunukku in her sewn up earlobes just to awe others about her touchableness.“Kochu Maria couldn’t stop wearing her kunukku because if she did, how would people know that despite her lowly cook’s job (seventy-five rupees a month) she was a Syrian Christian, Mar Thomite? Not a Pelaya, or a Pulaya, or a Paravan. But a Touchable, upper- caste Christian (into whom Christianity had seeped like tea from a tea bag). Split lobes stitched back were a better option by far.” (Roy 170)

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