Baby Kochamma’s role in The God of Small Things

Baby Kochamma is an essential character to understanding the impact of social status and class on the characters in the novel, The God of Small Things. Baby Kochamma has always strived to belong in the highest social class possible. Her image is extremely important to her which is why she needed to have Velutha taken out of her life when she found out about Ammu’s affair with him. Her pure Syrian Christian niece was not allowed to have an affair with an untouchable because it would hurt the family’s reputation and look negatively upon her.

Baby Kochamma is similar to a lot of older people in America today. She is unwilling to change with the times even though the caste system was abolished about 15 years beforehand. However unlike in our world today some Americans believe that they are superior to other races but the civil rights act was passed 60 years ago. Just like Baby Kochamma’s treatment towards Velutha they try to put themselves above others and continue to oppress humans because of the color of their skin which puts them in a lower class. The book teaches the importance of social classes and even when abolished the prejudices held against people that were once considered lower class.

Baby Kochamma believes that she is superior to everyone else because of her superiority complex that being a Syrian Christian gives her. Roy portrays her as a negative and unlikeable character since she possesses old fashioned ideology that needs to be abolished.

One thought on “Baby Kochamma’s role in The God of Small Things

  1. I’ve said in other comments that the portrayal of Baby Kochamma might be the novel’s only flaw, in my mind. She is an out and out villain, and Roy’s representation of her — from the fat-shaming of her body to her unrelenting self-hatred (via Anglophilia) — is so unlike her treatment of other characters, who she treats so tenderly. Characters like Chacko, Ammu, etc, might be flawed, but they are also warm and beautiful and worthy of love.

    Having said that, as your post eloquently argues, Roy was using Baby Kochamma for a clear thematic purpose — and she certainly fulfills her narrative duty very well, in that regard.

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