DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
VEER KUNWAR SINGH UNIVERSITY
“The God of Small Things” won for Arundhati Roy the prestigious Booker prize in the year 1997. The book drew the attention of the jury members not only for its thematic power but also for its ‘metaphorical exactitude and striking simile’ and ‘linguistic inventiveness’. However, some critics particularly in India have not been kind to Arundhati Roy and they have charged her of selling a negative and disparaging picture of India to the West. Even a writer like Shashi Deshpande found nothing special in the book. Side by side there are critics who have declared “The God of Small Things” to be the most accomplished Indian novel and several others have paid her compliments for decolonizing English –using it ‘as a plaything’ and for ‘spitting at correct English’.
Now that more than half a decade has passed and the initial euphoria is over, it is time to revisit the novel and evaluate its artistic worth, especially in view of the mass of critical work done on her during the last one decade and a half. While her friends and foes alike relish the style that has become unmistakably hers, her radical views on sensitive issues appear to have prejudiced certain critics who leave no opportunity to attack her. The proposed paper seeks to make a re-reading of “The God of Small Things” from the point of view of theme as well as unconventional use of language.