One of the main themes in The God of Small Things is society and class. Margaret Kochamma plays a big role in this since she is English and that makes her of high social class. Chacko met Margaret Kochamma during his time at Oxford and during a flashback the narrator states, “He had no pressing reasons to stay in touch with his parents. The Rhodes Scholarship was generous. He needed no money. He was deeply in love with his love for Margaret Kochamma and had no room in his heart for anyone else”(234). The text says that Chacko was deeply in love with his love for Margaret Kochamma so does this mean the he did not actually love her?
I think that this text shows how caught up in class Chacko became with Margaret Kochamma which forced him to fall in love with her. He fell in love with her because she was a white British woman and that is what society told him to value. While he may have loved her I think that it is more likely that he fell in love with her status and the status that he would receive if he married her. The Kochamma family is largely composed of Anglophiles which is why Sophie Mol’s arrival is so important. They are treated like royalty and the whole family goes out of their way so that they will think highly of them.
I do not think that Chacko truly loved Margaret and think that he was in love with her status. If Chacko truly loved Margaret he probably would have tried harder to keep their marriage alive instead of spiraling and giving up. If Chacko loved her then Margaret probably would have loved him back and would not have fallen in love with Joe. Chacko was in love, but he was in love with status instead of Margaret.
One thought on “Was Chacko Actually in Love?”
Grace, I like your focus on this “minor” relationship — which, as you argue, might represent the “Big Things” that rule the novel. I guess I would be a little gentler on Chacko, though. He’s a human being. We love people for multiple reasons. And while he is the first to admit he is an Anglophile, the flashbacks to his meeting Margaret in the coffee shop show genuine affection. And Chacko, when he wants to, can be very loving. I’m thinking of the way he could charm Estha and Rahel. But his flaw might be his self-absorption, which is part of his own privileged mindset.