Similes and Imagery in "The God of Small Things"

Dr. Jaya Lakshmi Rao. V., Reader in English Mrs. A.V.N.College, Visakhapatnam, India

Roy's novel is a treasure trove of rare similes, metaphors and idioms: " -- Christianity arrived in a boat and seeped into Kerala like tea from a tea bag." (p.38).

When she gave birth to twins, Ammu checked their bodies and found no deformity. But Rahel points out that, "she didn't notice the single Siamese soul" (p.41).

"Strange insects appeared like ideas in the evening" (p. 9).

Ayemenem house still had a "river sense -- a rushing, rolling, fish swimming sense." (p.30)

The look of absentmindedness in Rahel's eyes is described as "The small God climbed into people's eyes and became an exasperating expression." (p. 30).

when she started enjoying wearing jewels which she despised while young and trying to look attractive in a ripe old age, Baby Kochamma is described to be "living her life backwards." (p. 22). Vinegar hearted as she is, "she closed her face like a cupboard" (p. 29).

Ammu's personality is thus described: "Ammu was an unmixable mix. The infinite tenderness of motherhood and the reckless rage of a suicide bomber." (p. 44).

Ammu's Boxer father-in-law's funeral was attended by Boxers, "a congregation of mourners with lantern jaws and broken noses." (p. 40).

As the communist party rally neared, the car, a sky blue Plymouth looked "absurdly opulent on the narrow, pitted road is like a wide lady squeezing down a narrow corridor." (p. 65). That the communist party lost its impact in Kerala is expressed in the metaphor, "The red had bled away." (p. 13).

At prospect of seeing the film The Sound of Music, "Rahel was like an excited mosquito on a leash. Flying. Weightless. Up two steps. Down two. Up one." (p. 98). Also, "Rahel's new teeth were waiting inside her gums like words in a pen." (p. 37).

After the trauma, Estha's silence is a "gradual winding down and closing shop." He is a "quiet bubble floating on a sea of noise." (p.10).

Ammu who suffered bouts of Asthma has"a rattle in her chest that sounded like a faraway man shouting." (p. 15).

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Postcolonial Web India OV Roy

Last modified 4 August 2001