‘Narrative Techniques in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things ’

Abstract : The fragmented temporal structure of 'The God of Small Things', with its polyphonic narrative voices compels the reader to reconstruct the text much as s/he would piece together a jigsaw puzzle as the story of three generations unfolds. Time is superimposed in layers, each layer leaving unobliterable traces that confuse perception of the whole. Thus the past is always in the present, and the present is always shaping the future. This fluid backwards and forwards movement deconstructs chronological temporal sequences. No longer anchored in a static time frame, temporal signifiers float loosely on a Lacanian stream of sliding signifieds as the reader gropes her/his way through the narrative’s circular rather than linear progression. This paper explores why Roy chose this particular mode and links it with her political commitments. After an analysis of the links between narrativity and temporality in The God of Small Things, it defines the different levels of the novel’s multiple-temporal structure. An in-depth study of the opening chapter is followed by an analysis of the consequences of this “metatemporal narrative mode” through a careful examination of the two closing scenes, in an attempt to elucidate the intimate connection between ‘form’ and ‘content’ in the novel.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 4:36:59 PM
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Madhu Benoit. ‘Narrative Techniques in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things ’. Murari Prasad. Arundhati Roy – Critical Perspectives, Pencraft International, 2006, 81-85753-76-8. ⟨hal-02008431⟩

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