According to Roy, “The God of Small Things is a book which connects the very smallest things to the very biggest.” How is this evident in Roy’s focus on the value of “smallness” and “small things” and their vital place in the larger political and cultural context in The God of Small Things? In other words, what are the small things in The God of Small Things, and why are they important?
Food for thought:
• Examine the “small” things in relation to the “big” things.
• How does the novel constantly emphasize the dignity of the powerless and deny those in power the exclusive right to define and justify their own actions?
• How does Roy’s constant privileging of the small reject the conventional politics in its public pretentious form and replace it with personal relationships?
• For Roy, this almost spiritual awareness of the relatedness of the world, in which “small things” dance on the edges of larger tragedies, does not rule out collective forms of activism; instead it becomes the very basis for a political and imaginative perspective which is grounded in local concerns.
• Plan your essay by collecting together points for your argument. In the main body of your essay, you need to thread your developing argument through each paragraph consistently and logically, referring back to the terms established by the prompt, rephrasing, and reframing as you go.
• Ensure your essay doesn’t disintegrate into a series of disconnected building blocks. Create a neat and stable bridge between one paragraph and the next.
• Use discourse markers—linking words and phrases like “on the other hand,” “however,” “although,” and “moreover”—to hold the individual paragraphs of your essay together and signpost the connections between different sections of your overarching argument.
Please note that an A-level essay will demonstrate all of the following:
• A clear introduction which orientates the reader and outlines your main argument.
• A coherent and conceptualized argument that relates to the question title.
• A confident movement around the text rather than a chronological picking through it.
• Apt and effective quotations or references adapted to make sense within the context of your own sentences.
• A range of effective points about Byatt’s narrative methods.
• A strong and personally engaged awareness of how a text can be interpreted by different readers and audiences in different ways at different times.
• A sense that you are prepared to take on a good range of critical and theoretical perspectives.
• A conclusion that effectively summarizes and consolidates your response and relates back to your essay title.
• A good title.
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