In Amurhatti Roy’s, The God of Small Things, it is interesting to note how different people are judged in different ways. While there is blatant discrimination and oppression in the Caste System, there are less regulated prejudices in orientalism.
The classism seen in The God of Small Things mostly fits within the Caste System, but where it does not is where it is shown at its strongest. Through the Ipe family, we see what it’s like to be at the top of the chain. We see how Baby Kochamma treats others that are not of their class, such as Velutha, and the magnitudes she goes to in order to preserve the family name. The most obvious being framing Velutha, whose death shows that Boaby Kochamma will go to any length for the family’s position. Usually, as with Sophie Mol, the British are seen as high up in the caste system, just because of the color of their skin. Interestingly enough, this does not matter to Baby Kochamma. When Tacko told his family he was marrying Margaret Kochamma, Baby Kochamma did not approve, despite her future daughter in-law’s nationality. To Baby Kochamma, money is what really sets people apart.
In comparison, it is less surprising that Margaret Kochamma’s family also didn’t approve of her and Chako’s marriage. Margaret Kochamma’s family is afraid of their daughter marrying an Indian Man because they have been tamed by orientalism. Through orientalism, the protrayal of the East in Western media and entertainment, Margaret’s family considers India an “other”. They are scared of their daughter going to a place that they aren’t comfortable with, and losing the “civility” that they associate with the West. They don’t truly understand what a place like India is really like, and the death of Sophie Mol must have only intensified their prejudice.