Summary of Chapter Two of The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

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Summary of Chapter Two of The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

The system of caste in India is a bond of union, but splits up the society into sections. It revolves around the society's idea of what's
"clean" and "pure". It exists not only in the form of Touchability and
Untouchability but also gender difference and marital status. In
Kerala, the setting for The God of Small Things, the caste system is deep-rooted; it has been made rigid by time and proliferated by the colonial rule. As a result, inevitably, the caste system greatly impacts the lives of the leading characters in the novel: Estha and
Rahel, Ammu and Velutha. In my essay, I am going to explore the nature of the caste system and whom it affects.

The
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Although, ever since he was young, he had fondness for Ammu, a touchable, he could only bring the toys that he had made "for Ammu, holding them out in his palm (as he had been taught) so she wouldn't have to touch him to take them." The caste system also hindered the development for his full potential that even "Mammachi (with impenetrable Tocuhable logic) often said that if only he hadn't been a Paravan, he might become an engineer" The conflict and misunderstanding between his father, Vellaya Paapen, also originated from the idea of how Untouchables should behave. His father thought of him to have "a lack of hesitation. An unwarranted assurance", things that Untouchables ought not have. He was uneasy at the way his son "held his head. The quiet way he offered suggestion without being asked. Or the quiet way in which he disregarded suggestions without appearing to rebel." Velutha's relationship with his father strained to the extent that "Velutha began to avoid home.
He worked late. He caught fish in the river and cooked it on an open fire. He slept outdoors, on the banks of the river." When "Mammachi rehired Velutha as the factory carpenter and put him in charge of general maintenance", despite having disappeared mysteriously for four years, "It caused a great deal of resentment among the other Touchable factory workers because, according to them, Paravans were not meant to be carpenters. And

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