Time and Perspective in GOST

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.

2 thoughts on “Time and Perspective in GOST

  1. Paige M

    I agree! I also loved how Roy structured the story and while it was confusing at times, I think that it really made the story interesting and added a layer of complexity. I also really like how you described her approach as “puzzle-like” because that so perfectly describes it. It kind of reminded me of when we were reading Exit West and there were “doors” that would transport you to another place. I liked the structure of both books and thought that it really made both novels more complex/unique.

    Like

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