When I initially read the first chapter of God of Small Things, I was feeling very confused. There were so many names, relationships and situations mentioned in the first chapter, and I struggled to keep up and retain this new information.
After a closer analysis of the first chapter and its crucial application and introduction to the rest of the story and many themes of the book, I have realized that this confusing chapter is crucial to understanding the larger meaning of the book as a whole.
More specifically, the last few lines of the chapter really got me thinking…
That it really began in the days when the Love Laws were made. The laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much.God Of Small Things, page 33
This last sentence of the first chapter basically explains the meaning of the text, the differences and disparities between the classes.
As I continued to read farther into the novel, I began to connect more and more information to that in the first chapter. The first chapter acted as a “flash forward,” as it explained to the audience many of the big events that occurred, such as Sophie Mol’s death, and how theses events have had a profound impact on the lives of the family.
The first chapter, more specifically, the last sentence of the first chapter establishes the overall theme of the novel, and it gets the audience to begin making connections and uncover the layers of the theme and meaning.
As I finish the novel, I am looking forward to uncovering new dimensions and layers to the theme of this novel that were established in the very first chapter. The first chapter of God of Small Things peaked my interest in both the novel itself, as well as the themes and historical and cultural context present in the book.
2 thoughts on “The Most Important Sentence in the Novel “God of Small Things””
Great focus on that sentence, which itself becomes a motif throughout the novel.
I’d only say that I think the Love Laws are about more than just the codification of class difference, although there is definitely that. It talks about racial, sexual and familial boundaries as well — the way society constructs a very narrow definition of acceptable love.
And maybe more importantly, it’s about how pleasure and happiness in general are regulated. How some people are not given the full humanity and agency that even allows them to experience pleasure and happiness.
So much of those final two chapters — with Estha and Rahel, Ammu and Velutha, is about breaking through those Laws.
I also was confused with all the different characters in the novel, but after your blog, it really helps to understand the novel and the past and present events.