Who is the God of Small Things?

In a society focused around “big things” such as class conflicts, political affiliations, and marriage, Roy points out the “small things” to the reader. These small things include secrets, promises, and sins. Even though the novel talks a lot about class relations, culture tensions, and child abuse, it revolves around the perspective of the twins. While there are bigger things to be talked about, it is the small things and their God that Roy narrates about. 

This is a passage from the final chapter, where they refer to Ammu & Velutha, “Even later, on the thirteen nights that followed this one, instinctively they stuck to the Small Things. The Big Things ever lurked inside. They knew that there was nowhere for them to go. They had nothing. No future. So they stuck to the small things” (320). Ammu and Velutha accept their own fates because they know that they had nothing and nowhere to go. So much goes against them as they break the “Love Laws” of caste and race (“big things”). Even though they purposely limit their thinking of the “small things” that enable them to enjoy their love, they still recognize the powerful presence of the “small things”; there is always someone watching.

In chapter 11, Ammu dreams of Velutha. From her dream, we get the idea that the God of Small Things represents Velutha. He is a father figure to his children and fills their lives with innocence and joy. I think the God of small things is someone who lives in the beauty and innocence of this world. Velutha appreciates the beauty of love and is both humble and caring towards others. I believe that Estha and Rahel are believers of “the God of small things” because they are still children, and are not tied to the world of “big things” as the adults.

Aladdin’s Unfair Portrayal of the Arab World

Aladdin | Disney Movies

Aladdin was released in November of 1992 by Walt Disney Pictures, being ranked as the fourth highest film based on popularity (“Best Disney Movies”). This movie was one of my favorites as a kid because I love how adventurous it was, specifically the magic carpet scene. However, the film has been criticized for its unfair portrayal of the Arab world and is a clear example of modern Orientalism. 

Aladdin’s opening theme song, “Arabian Nights”, is often criticized for its lyrics “Oh, imagine a land, it’s a faraway place/ Where the caravan camels roam/ Where they cut off your ear/ If they don’t like your face/ It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home” (1992 Original Aladdin). The lyrics indicate to the viewer that Aladdin’s home is not just a faraway place, but a place of mystery much different from the audience’s. When the song says, “…where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face/ it’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home” it demonizes Aladdin’s home and reinforces the audience to recognize it as uncivilized and barbaric. This idea further supports the film’s representation of “faraway place” not able to be related to by the audience. 

After several complaints, Disney changed the lyrics to “Where it’s flat and immense/ And the heat is intense/ It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.” The new lines still represent a false reality to the audience. Previously, Aladdin’s home was viewed as barbaric and mysterious, but the song still portrays Aladdin’s home as mysterious, but with these new lyrics, it gives the impression that his home is a boundless and uninhabitable area.

In addition to song lyrics, the movie uses characters with strong accents. The characters perceived as the good ones speak with American accents. The rest of the cast, mainly antagonists of Aladdin, have exaggerated Arab accents. Since Aladdin is one of the main protagonists in the film, he is given an American accent, which allows the audience to distinguish him from the antagonists who speak with Arab accents. To Americans, the American accent sounds very familiar, while the Arab accent is recognized as foreign. In a kid’s perspective watching Aladdin, they may think that the negatively represented Arab accent is bad, mysterious, and foreign. 


The song, “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran is part of his second studio album Multiply (X). The song was inspired by one of his ex-girlfriends and the lyrics portray a long-distance relationship. In the song, Sheeran urges his partner to look at a photograph of the two of them when things get tough and remember the good times. Throughout the song, Sheeran expresses the theme of love. He explains both the advantages and disadvantages and the impacts it has on people’s lives.

Sheeran begins the song with the lyrics: “Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes”. The use of repetition in this line reinforces the idea that love is not perfect. It is much more complex than just romance. It can come with disappointment, loss of freedom, and vulnerability. It is common for love to cause pain, but it can also make you feel alive.

Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes

But it’s the only thing that I know

When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes

It is the only thing that makes us feel alive

He then continues the idea of love with the line: “We keep this love in a photograph”. Every photograph holds a story because they have the power to keep memories alive. The man referred to in the lyrics tells the woman that if she misses him, she can always look at a photograph of him and revive memories. Through a photograph, she will have the power to take him wherever she goes.

We keep this love in a photograph

We made these memories for ourselves

Where our eyes are never closing

Hearts are never broken

And time’s forever frozen still

This next line uses imagery in order to emphasize the idea that a man can still be in a woman’s heart forever even if he may not be present with her physically. With the use of imagery, Sheeran reveals the importance of photographs. As we keep them with us, we are able to continue living on with the memories that we created.

So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans

Holding me closer ’til our eyes meet

You won’t ever be alone, wait for me to come home

The line “That’s okay baby, only words bleed” uses personification. By attributing human characteristics to words, it shows how words may seem painful in the moment, but that pain is temporary. Words are powerful and that unlike physical wounds, mental wounds left by words can leave a bigger impact.

And if you hurt me

That’s okay baby, only words bleed

Inside these pages you just hold me

And I won’t ever let you go

Wait for me to come home

I think the line: “Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul” is really powerful because it reveals the positive aspects of love. Although love can be heartbreaking, it can also strengthen relationships and bring happiness to one’s life. Love is a very powerful feeling because it is pure and real.

Love can heal, loving can mend your soul

And it’s the only thing that I know, know

I swear it will get easier,

Remember that with every piece of you

Hm, and it’s the only thing we take with us when we die

By using different literary devices, expressing emotions, and conveying a long-distance relationship, Photograph is a poetic song because it appeals to the listener’s emotions by presenting the overall theme of love.

The Importance of Storytelling

Throughout her novel, Beloved, Toni Morrison portrays the importance of storytelling. It is essential to the novel as it serves as a way to communicate memories among the characters. One of the ways in which memories live on is through storytelling. 

As Sethe tells Denver about her family and her remarkable birth, Denver is able to develop a sense of personal history and heritage. Storytelling allows memories to stay alive especially among characters such as Sethe, Baby Suggs, Paul D, and Denver. These personal memories create a shared tradition about the past and provide slaves the ability to tell their own story. This ultimately allows slaves to define themselves rather than constantly being defined by slave-owners. 

Although storytelling brings people together, it can also bring back horrific memories. For Sethe and Paul D, their memories as slaves continue to haunt them, which can prevent them from moving on. At the end of the novel, Morrison repeats, “It was not a story to pass on” (324). This suggests that after Beloved’s disappearance, people had to forget about her in order to live on with their lives. Morrison’s story of Beloved conveys that there is value in learning about this painful story of the past because it is important to remember the history of slavery.

The Love Formula

The film Trust written and directed by Hal Hartley portrays the romance between two troubled misfits who feel disowned by their parents. 

Maria, who is pregnant and a high school dropout, supposedly kills her father because of disgust and disappointment. But in reality, he died of heart failure. Her mother immediately disowns her, forcing her to move out of the house. While Maria wanders town looking for a place to stay, she comes across Mathew, an educated and moody electronics repairman. 

They develop a strong connection to each other in which they are accepting and understanding of one another. They understand the hardships one another faces as they continue to live with their insulting parents.

Throughout the film, Maria and Mathew build a sense of mutual admiration and trust. When Mathew asks her to marry him, Maria constructs a formula: respect + admiration + trust = love

I believe that this formula represents their relationship because they are essential factors in what makes them happy. In addition, I think that Maria and Mathew’s relationship solves the problems they face because it allows them to comfort each other. Maria helps Mathew stay sane as he struggles to keep the same job for a long period of time. Mathew cares for Maria by making her feel loved. He helped her become more confident in wearing her glasses, which ultimately allowed Maria to accept herself. Both Maria’s mother and Mathew’s father are emotionally abusive, and Mathew’s father is physically abusive too. By getting married, they have the opportunity to start a new life without any constraints such as their parents.

Meursault’s Realization on Life

Throughout his novel, The Stranger, Albert Camus portrays the idea of existentialism. Camus exposes the true self and cold nature of human beings in order to show Meursault’s realization of the meaningless of life.

Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes the freedom to choose and make decisions without trying to achieve someone else’s standards. Existentialists acknowledge the dangers and outcomes of their decisions and take responsibility if future outcomes.

The Stranger provides several examples of analyzing and revealing the true self and cold nature of human beings. When Meursault shoots the Arab and one of the Arabs draws his blade and holds it up to Meursault, Meursault is not annoyed by the Arab’s undermining activity, he was disturbed by the extreme heat and light from the sun that reflected at him. Meursault describes his feeling of discomfort from the sunlight when he says, “The scorching blade slashed at my eyelashes and stabbed at my stinging eyes” (Camus 59). Meursault was not afraid of being attacked by the Arab, he felt uncomfortable in that situation. As a result, Meursault shot him even though he did it due to his feeling of annoyance. Later, Meursault gets arrested, but he does not realize the severity of his actions. Meursault shows this when he says, “Then he wanted to know if I had hired an attorney. I admitted I hadn’t and inquired whether it was really necessary to have one” (Camus 63). Meursault is ready to move on and accept his punishment. His actions expose how existentialists take actions into their own hands, dealing with the consequences later. 

Death is a common idea among existentialists, which is shown when Mersault expresses his actual affections for Maman’s death, those of distant and dislike. The investigators were aware that Meursault had shown insensitivity the day of Maman’s funeral. He explains his feelings towards Maman by saying, “I probably did love Maman, but that didn’t mean anything. At one time or another all normal people have wished their loved ones were dead” (Camus 65). Meursault displays his anger towards his Maman when he sent her to a home, losing their connection. This reveals that people often get too involved in their lives, wanting them to distance themselves even more. Meursault demonstrates this characteristic during Maman’s funeral service where he did not show any sympathy and when he decided to not visit her anymore at the home.

“Bloodchild” Vs. Society

Indeed, “Bloodchild” is not about slavery. It is about how the Tlic and Terrans formed an interdependent relationship in which they try to leave peacefully among each other.  As the Tlic offer protection, the Terrans offer one male from each family to serve as a host to Tlic eggs. 

The Tlic are viewed as evil because they are non-human creatures. They are parasitic that need host animals for their eggs. The Tlic reproduce by laying their fertile eggs in other living organisms where the larvae feed off of the host’s blood. When the larvae hatch, they release a poison into the host’s body where they start eating their egg cases while continuing to consume the host. 

A major part of this short story is the influence of culture and society’s expectations. Modern society understands slavery as a treacherous experience, sympathizing to the recurrence of oppression. Butler discusses the approaches by which humans simultaneously protect their survival while also maintaining their survival. The Terrans arrived at a desperate time, so the Tlic used that opportunity to use them as host organisms. There is a symbiotic codependency between the Tlic and the Terrans. The Tlic teach Terrans about the process of reproduction. From birth, Terrans are taught and adjusted to the societal order. In the story, Gan and T’Gatoi develop a relationship that is both loving and manipulative. 

Lastly, Butler creates an unusual binary switch in which the men become pregnant. Our modern day society has a fixed view on gender binary. Usually, males have the majority of the power and females are left with little to nothing. Butler criticizes the traditional power dynamic of the gender binary by establishing a world where the power dynamic between men and women are reversed.