Monday, November 16, 2015

The God of Small Things or Every Unhappy Family is Unhappy In Its Own Way


“Nothing mattered much. Nothing much mattered. And the less it mattered the less it mattered. It was never important enough. Because Worse Things had happened. In the country that she came from poised forever between the terror of war and the horror of peace Worse Things kept happening”  ― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things


I beg you not to read this book! Please... Don't touch it, don't open, forget the name and the author. Don't read this book if you quit smoking - everything will go to Hell! Don't read this book if you are not a parent, you'll probably be afraid to have children. Don't read this book if you have children, you'll be ashamed  for the world you brought them in! Don't love this book if you love reading - you'll never open another book without worrying. Don't read this book if you don't like reading - you will start to hate it. 

This book will put off your pink glasses, tear your contact lenses, blind you, rip up your clothes, then our skin, then everything you've ever known, ever believed in. It will turn you into naked bleeding piece of meat, which will suffer pain from everything what happens around, near and far away from you, what has already happened and what will happen. It will leave only pain. Don't ever read this book!

But if you are not afraid, follow, Arundhati Roy will show us world of endless pain and torture. You will never be the same.




India is wonderful, magic country. Country of tea, cows, species and elephants, singing and dancing; country, wrapped in colorful silk sari, with big golden earrings, tinkling bracelets, rings on each finger; country with traditional bindi on the forehead; country, sparkling as diamond in the nose of eastern beauty.  Sentimental and romantic India...

But Arundhati Roy has another country: with revolutionary slogans, communist rallies, rains, fuming rivers, with women, who "have no Place Under The Sun", with holes in creation, such as History; holes, which are impossible to avoid. India in beige sharp-nosed shoes with bad comb-over... Cruel country, worshiping England, where some children are "Loved From The Beginning" and others are "Loved Less". And the whole family on this background. 


As I finished the book, first lines of "Anna Karenina" immediately came to my mind: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way".
On the first sight the plot of the novel is very simple, being many times by different people in different centuries. Even the attempt of the author to build plot on the retrospection doesn’t bring anything new. Basically, the narration doesn't have any geographical linking, the same happens to many people in other parts of the worlds, in spite of the elephants dying somewhere on the background. And here we see the family and two little souls, transforming after the Horror into Muteness and Void. From the very first pages author prepares us for the Horror as for the feast. From the beginning the Result is known and picture of events is being brought together as a puzzle. The chronology simply doesn't exist: from the past to the present and then again back to the past - the small time machine, helping us to travel in History. 

Probably the most horrifying part is the retrospective of twins' childhood. Childhood, where mother loves her children, sometimes more and sometimes less. On the example of two children Roy shows us the meeting of two worlds: childish world, full of fantasies and hunger of knowledge crashes with filthy, perverted, broken world of adults. And this meeting ends tragically. 

During the whole novel we sorely try to understand whose fault is this hell, which happens around protagonists. Is it their fault? Or just circumstances? Other people? Or all together? And do they deserve it?  "The God of Small Things" tells about fatal moments of weakness, strength of human prejudices and cruelty of those, who have power. Whatever, countries and rules differ, but people are the same and their passions are the same. 


In spite of this novel is usually considered as family saga, the main characters here are twins Rachel and Esta. They are strange children. Twins are different in many ways, but somehow still are the part of one creature, which doesn't recognize "me" and "he", only "us".  The common soul remains even when their roads are separated. Tragedy. Life torn apart. Game with own fate. Their life will be just repetition of their mother's. Ammu's fate. Failed life is the answer to the run from self. Broken fates like dried leaves among the pages of a book. Broken life, broken dreams, incest in the end - all roads lead to Hell. To the Heart of Darkness. 

This novel is smother, wistful. The darkness of hints gathers in corers and surrounds us. Cruel beauty of Roy's language spell-bounds and hurts. In beautiful, stylish, elegant way she writes about horrifying, dismal things. From the first lines her phrases hypnotize, you can't close your eyes, you can't stop. Once you enter, you have to walk till the end. Words seep under your skin. But they are beautiful.

This book is a long way to the scaffold. 

The invitation to the execution.