When discussing Roy’s God of Small Things with my classmates, most complaints center around the scattered segments of the story and the awkward timeline. Although I acknowledge that Roy’s jump from time and perspective can be confusing, I strongly believe that her puzzle-like approach enhances the story by adding a layer of mystique, and by reflecting the true sequence of each character’s thoughts.
One of my favorite scenes is when Rahel travels to the doctor as a young child in Chapter 5. At first, Rahel runs into Comrade K. N. M. Pillai after a walk near the river. Then, she begins to remember the Comrade’s son, Lenin. Ultimately, Rahel remembers her experience at the doctor’s when both she and Lenin had objects stuck up their noses.
One may view this story as a random vignette to accompany the true story, but I think that Roy’s inclusion of this story as well as others, is quite genius. The story is by no means random. Instead, Roy includes it just as Rahel would be thinking about it in real time. Memories don’t come to us when we want them too, they just appear when we’re reminded of them.
Roy’s expression of these memories serves to paint a picture of the person who remembers. Through these stories, she adds a piece to the puzzle of the character, as well as to the story.