The Manifestations of Marxism in The God of Small Things

Decent Essays

Arundhati Roy’s novel The God of Small Things presents the reader with the realities of Marxism. Roy gives the reader an impression of three possible manifestations of the ideology, rather than presenting a biased reading for or against Marxism. Through Roy’s novel the reader comes to understand Marxism as it appears through Velutha, the oppressed worker, Chacko the Marxist-in-name only, and Comrade Pillai, the corrupt politician. Comrade Pillai epitomizes the idea of a corrupt politician. During his first scene in the novel, Roy describes him as “walking through the world like a chameleon. Never revealing himself, never appearing not to. Emerging through chaos unscathed.” (Roy 15) Furthermore, Comrade Pillai champions himself as an ally of the oppressed and common people, but it is in reality a façade. Comrade Pillai is in reality a champion only for his own interests. An example of Comrade’s Pillai’s selfish corruption is the way that he watches the workers of Paradise Pickles and Preserves: Comrade Pillai had begun to watch the goings-on at Paradise Pickles with the keenness of a substitute at a soccer match. To bring in a new labor union, however small, in what he hoped to be his future constituency would be an excellent beginning for a journey to the Legislative Assembly. (Roy 114) Roy uses the phrase “keenness of a substitute at a soccer match” to describe Comrade Pillai’s attitude toward the workers of Paradise Pickles and Preserves. This phrase seems to suggest

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