The Cost of Living

The concluding chapter of The God of Small Things is possibly one of the best last chapter of a book I have ever read. It did a really good job of fully wrapping up the full meaning of the book and what/who the good of small things really is. The chapter starts off with Velutha and Ammu meeting up and sharing an intimate moment with each other. They are simply just enjoying each others presence and trying to live in the current moment with the joy they feel together. While they spent time together they “instinctively 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) This is such a powerful line and honestly sums up the entire book. Ammu and Velutha can’t be together and they know that so instead of dwelling on that and only thinking about that, they choose not to and I think that is super significant. They can’t be anything together and they beat that by just enjoying each other and letting that be enough. While spending time together, they decided to focus of “ant-bites on each other’s bottoms” and “the pair of small fish that always sought Velutha out in the river and bit him” While these things obviously don’t matter, it calms them to focus on little things. Sometimes, when you can’t control the big things it is easier to focus on the small things that you can control. The last chapter fully wraps up the full meaning of the book and the reason Velutha is The God of Small Things.

“It’s Only Okay When We Say It’s Okay!”

Throughout the entire King Lear Play, gender roles are questioned left and right. At the start when Lear asserts his dominance over his daughters but putting them through a love test, Goneril and Regan agree without any hesitation. The two sisters go back and forth fighting over who loves him more. Goneril first says “Sire, I love you more than words can wield the matter”(I.I.60). Regan tried to reboot her sister by telling her father “Only she comes too short, that I profess/Myself an enemy to all other joys’ ‘(I.I.79). From the start, it can be seen that they both are doing this for all the wrong reasons. However, King Lear’s third daughter, Cordeila, didn’t want to comply with what they were asked. She thought it would be wrong and fake. However, since Goneril and Regan were submissive and did what the man in power asked of them (their father) they in turn got rewarded and Cordelia didn’t. From the start of the play we see this almost dog lice treatment, where Goneril and Regan were “good” and Cordelia was “bad”. Overall, throughout the entire play women are constantly being rewarded and then insulated whenever they do “wrong”. After Goneril and Regan turn on their father and everything goes down the whole thing is switched and Cordeila looks like the “good” one. The men in the play discuss how Cordeil having control over her actions is beautiful and through metaphors they compare her to pearls and diamonds. However, earlier in the play she was wrong not doing what she was told. This all routes from the baseline idea that no matter what the women do in the play they are only rewarded for doing what the men think is “okay”

Everyone Knows “All Too Well” a Little Too Well

At this point, we should all know the song “All Too Well” by Taylor Swift because it has pretty much blown up the internet and music industry. Taylor wrote this song and realized it in 2012. However, Taylors music got stolen from her, and she ended up recording the album Red except for this time, it is called Taylors Version. This has brought all of these older songs to the front of Tayor fans’ minds again. As I started to think about it, “All Too Well” is written as a poem. The overall meaning and theme of “All Too Well” is Taylor longing for the memories and feelings she got from a relationship that once was good but slowly fell apart in her hands. She goes back and forth, remembering every detail of the relationship a little too well. Throughout this song, Taylor flashes back to detailed and specific memories to show that relationships that start great and sweet can always turn bad and end up rotting. Taylor describes the early stages of the relationship using the simile, “autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place”, which shows how complete and whole she felt while with him. This line also references the time frame of the relationship, which would be autumn. Throughout the song, Taylor repeats the phrase “I remember it all too well,” this is basically enforcing her feelings and shows the listener that this relationship was impossible to forget, and she remembers every detail clearly because that is how much it had an impact on her life. She also mentions the heartbreaking details she remembers, such as “in the middle of the night, we dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light,” which cleverly uses rhyme in “night” and “light.” Overall, Taylors song “All Too Well” was such a cleverly written song/poem that shows all of her feelings from the begging to the end of this devastating relationship.

The More Years The Less Love

The idea that love sometimes fades over years is a sad realization. We see a huge parallel between love fading through Saeed’s parent’s marriage and Saeed’s and Nadia’s own relationship. Both relationships decide to wait to have sex until marriage, and in his parent’s relationships, “Saeed’s mother found it more uncomfortable”(13). When Saeed told Nadia he wanted to wait until marriage she responded by saying “Are you F****** joking”(55). Then after processing this she said, “It’s okay. We can see”(56). In both relationships, the women are way more eager and the men feel a lot of pride in waiting. After Saeed’s parents get married their marriage was full of passion. They were basically obsessed with each other and so were Saeed and Nadia. But, as time passed so did their love. “After Saeed was born, the frequency with which his parents had sex dipped notably, and it continued to decline going forward”(14). Over time, as life went on and got more complicated their love decreased. As Nadia and Saeed were going through all of the doors there love notably declined. “She smiled and moved to kiss him, and while her lips did touch his, his did not much respond”(125). In both relationships, the women are the ones constantly trying to keep the love alive and the men are the ones who are giving up and choosing not to care anymore. After Saeed’s mother passes away Saeed’s father is a mess and super upset. I am sure he wishes that he appreciated her a little more when she was alive. Knowing the huge parallel between the relationships, I would hate to see Saeed regret not appreciating Nadia more too while she is alive…

The Death Penalty Debate

Sense forever, our society has been debating the idea if the death penalty should be abolished or not. Some feel that some people deserve to die and not even get the opportunity to be in prison and others feel that killing someone is wrong if we are punishing them for likely killing someone too. Plus, you are really just giving them the easy way out. As we follow the journey of Meursault on death row we really get to see up close what this looks like. For me, it was hard to read. Usually when you hear about someone who is on death row you have no connection to them and don’t know anything about them. After reading The Stranger I feel like I got to know Meursault and it was hard for me to watch him sit in cell and fear his death no matter the crime he committed. The prosecutor in the court case argues that they should use the death penalty by saying “I felt this painful duty made easier, lighter, clearer by the certain knowledge of a sacred imperative and by the horror I feel when I look into a man’s face and all I see is a monster”(102). This argues one side of this argument about the death penalty being used on monster who shouldn’t deserve to live. However, Meursults defense attorney makes another argument to defend him by saying that Meusault “was already suffering the most agonizing of punishments- eternal remorse”(105). This is another view some people have. They believe dying is easy and spending your life in prison and feeling eternal remorse is worse. I think The Stranger does a really good job of showing both views up close. I just think it hits home and feels more real when you actually feel something for the person on death row, in this case Meusault.

Is It Intentional Carelessness?

In chapters 1-3 we learn a lot about who Meursault really is as a person. These chapters are filled with little details that show a lot of who he is. The main part that I think is very interesting is the fact that he is WAY to good at minding his own business and not caring about something unless it effects him. There are so many examples of this but specifically in the part where he witnesses this man every day physically abuse his dog and he literally does nothing because it does not have anything to do with him. Meursault tells the reader that the dog owner “was saying, ‘Filthy, stinking bastard!’ I said ‘good evening’, and the dog was whimpering.” It is pretty abnormal to say good evening to someone who is abusing a dog but he is able to stay out of it and do nothing.