Trauma of History in Arundathi Roy’s Novel “God of Small Things”

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Abstract. The article discusses ways of depicting the traumatic experience of colonization in fiction on the material of the novel “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy. The trauma of history is of great importance in post-colonial literature, along with the trauma of migration and the trauma of self-identification. In the novel by Arundhati Roy, the depiction of the trauma of history is associated with the study of the “traces” of colonization in the life of a certain Indian family, each of whose members in their own way becomes the bearer of historical trauma, which is manifested, in particular, in the plot of violence. The position of the subaltern becomes the subject of special attention of the author of the novel, while the feminization of the victim of violence takes place. The ways in which the traumatic experience is embodied in the novel reveal a great tradition in literature — this is silence, that is, the inability to talk about trauma and the memory of the body. The “twins” plot allows to consider options for going through a traumatic experience. Personal trauma is realized in the motif of mistake, which, like the plot of violence, precedes many works of this kind (where historical trauma is revealed through the motif of error) in English literature. Through the plot of a mistake the novel illustrates the secondary trauma of the younger generations of the colonized people.

Keywords: Arundati Roy, English literature, story trauma, violence plot, error motif, secondary trauma

For citation: Khabibullina L.F. Trauma of History in Arundathi Roy’s Novel “God of Small Things”, in Novoe Proshloe / The New Past. 2023. No. 2. Pp. 151–162. DOI 10.18522/2500-3224-2023-2-151-162.

The article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).

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