Devoir de Philosophie

Dissertation, Incipit du "dieu des petits riens" de Arundhati Roy, en anglais

Publié le 05/04/2019

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  Arundhati Roy was born in 1961. She is an author and political activist, best known for The God of Small Things, written in 1997 and viewed as semi-autobiographical. The first chapter takes place in 1993.    First, we will see that it is a very visual extract, then that the themes of life, death, and magic are recurrent. Finally, we will talk about Roy’s literary style.   The scene opens on the town of Ayememem in the southern Indian province of Kerala. The setting is abundant and full of life. The author gives emphasis to the smallest details of what she describes, which results in a very lyrical feeling. The narrator mentions all the small animals and plants living and growing there. I quote “The wild, overgrown garden was full of the whisper and scurry of small lives”. The description is quite vivid, Ayememem seems to have lush surroundings. There is a very rich lexical field of nature and water. This scene is very eloquent to the senses, like the sight or the sense of smell with the humidity and the vegetation. Indeed, the color green comes back many times and gives vitality to the scene. Even the car portrayal is comparable to an aquatic animal with its “skyblue tailfin”. We encounter Rahel, thr...

« fleshed out later and that give a sense of oddity : someone named Orangedrink Lemondrink Man did something to Estha, Ammu died.

Ammu is mom in an indian dialect (Malayalam), and we don't know who the OLMan is, the reader is left in a blurry imagination.    It is also question of life and death, in the course of the five first lines, bananas ripen, jackfruits burst blueblottles die in the sun.

Then we have the birth of plants, they all ?snake up? burst or spill across the flooded roads?, as well as the birth of the twins.

The house seems dead compared to the ?whisper and scurry of small lives? of the garden.

Finally at the end, we learn that their mom died.    Just as this aspect of the extract skips back and forth between life and death, the tone of the text is very binary : the narrator delve us right into the tropical summer of India, describing plenty of details, yet, the narrative halt and we learn about the characters.

The tone is very poetic yet slightly shady, we have the feeling that something went wrong.

One crucial aspect of the extract is the non-linearity of the narrator : we start with the present, a very actual description of the scenery, then we focus on Rahel, then only we understand why she's back home, we find out about her brother, their childhood, and finally their mother's death a long time ago.     Aside from life and death, Roy tackles the magic / spiritual field.

She describes the animals as if they were little creatures from the woods, but there is also a mystery about the twins, she says that the confusion between them is deep, in a secret place.

There are a lot of beliefs around twins in general and how they understand and feel each other, sometimes without talking.

Here, Rahel has memories of Estha's experiences, although she has not lived them.   Numerous things are personified, as the lives of the twins, which ?have a size and a shape now?.

In the same way, the words describing the limits of their relationship (Edges, Borders, Boundries?) have capital first letters, as if it was a name, a person, and incidentally, Arundhaty Roy considers them as ?a team of troll?.        A writer's style can be seen through his / her fondness for certain types of words. . »


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