The God of Small Things
Revised traditional Chinese edition of The God of Small Things, winner of the 1997 Booker Prize. In Traditional Chinese. Distributed by Tsai Fong Books, Inc.
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Chapter 1: PARADISE PICKLES & PRESERVES
Suzanna Arundhati Roy is an Indian author who is best known for her novel "The God of Small Things", which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997. She is also a political activist involved in human rights and environmental issues. (This annotation contains an image)
Rahel and Estha are
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up?
The narrator tells the story by
Personification is a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea, or an animal is given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings. What attributes does the author assign to non-human objects in this text?
What does the author mean by Estha being re-Returned?
The setting of this narrative is Aymanam, spelled Ayemenem in the text. It is a village in the Kottayam District of Kerala, India. (This annotation contains an image)
How does the death of Sophie Mol influence Rahel?
The structure of literature can be described as the organizational method of the written material. The video explains different ways a book can be organized. What have you noticed about the structure of this book? (This annotation contains a video)
The narrator shifts focus to describe
Why does Baby Kochamma perform charitable acts and question Father Mulligan about scriptures?
Characterization in literature refers to the step by step process wherein an author introduces and then describes a character. The character can be described directly by the author or indirectly through the actions, thoughts, and speech of the character. How does the author describe Baby Kochamma? (This annotation contains a video)
Baby Kochamma's characterizes the twins by
The author switches back and forth in time. This can be a bit confusing, but you will begin to make connections as you read.
Chapter 2: PAPPACHI'S MOTH
Ammu does not give her children a surname. What attitude does Ammu's reasoning convey?
The image below shows a bride dressed for an elaborate Calcutta wedding like Ammu's. What prompts Ammu to marry a man she does not love? (This annotation contains an image)
Ammu's refusal to consider Mr. Hollick's proposition reveals
Baby Kochamma's dislike of the twins conveys the community's general attitude toward
Pappachi is well-respected by the villagers; however, he beats his wife and daughter. Though he stops beating Mammachi after Chacko intervenes, how does he continue to manipulate her and the townspeople?
Mammachi does not expose her husband's treatment of her. This reflects
An analogy is a comparison in which an idea or a thing is compared to another thing that is quite different from it. It aims at explaining that idea or thing by comparing it to something that is familiar. What analogy does Chacko use to describe the history of his country?
The author's use of imagery
"The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling is a collection of short stories in the form of fables, where animals communicate and speak to each other as humans do. The purpose of each story was to convey a moral or message to the reader. A village boy, Mowgli, falls into the hands of a pack of wolves who raise him as their own in the Indian jungle. As he matures he starts to understand the "Law of the Jungle".
Reading the book backwards emphasizes the children's
Define bourgeoise. What does Chacko mean by this statement?
The author offers theories as to why the Communist party is so successful in Kerala. Why is Chacko's support of the Communist party ironic?
The author makes an allusion to Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. Allusion is a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance. It is just a passing comment and the writer expects the reader to possess enough knowledge to spot the allusion and grasp its importance in a text. What do the kings, counts, and barons mean by this comment? (This annotation contains an image)
What is the impact of Ammu's response and the narrator's question?
Mammachi praises Velutha's skill. How does her comment also reveal her prejudices?
Vellya Paapen's actions and comments are an example of
Estha sends thought signals to Rahel to prevent her from identifying Velutha as a member of the march. Why does he do this?
The allusion to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar emphasizes the theme of
Estha relates millstones to his reading of "Mutiny on the Bounty," the 1932 novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, based on the mutiny against Lieutenant William Bligh, commanding officer of the “Bounty” in 1789. Does he have a realistic understanding of what Chacko is saying to Ammu?
Chapter 3: BIG MAN THE LALTAIN, SMALL MAN THE MOMBATTI
What does the condition of the house reveal about Baby Kochamma?
The condition of Estha's room is in stark contrast to the rest of the house. What does Estha's obsessive cleaning reveal about him?
Estha's actions as Rahel watches him emphasize his
Chapter 4: ABHILASH TALKIES
Repetition is a literary device that repeats the same words or phrases a few times to make an idea clearer. What idea does the author make clearer by repeating this phrase?
Rahel and Estha are excited about watching "The Sound of Music" film by Rodgers and Hammerstein. How does the depiction of the nuns in the film compare with Rahel's mental image of them? (This annotation contains a link)
Foreshadowing is a literary device in which a writer gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story. The inappropriate comments the Orangedrink Lemondrink Man makes to Estha hint at what the man is capable of doing. (This annotation contains a video)
For Estha the clean, white children represent
Estha feels vomity and Ammu takes him to the restroom. Why is the Orangedrink Lemondrink Man concerned when he sees them exit the theatre?
Rahel's immediate feeling of repulsion towards the Orangedrink Lemondrink Man reflects
Rahel's comment to her mother is a mistake. Is it a big mistake or a small mistake, and what punishment does it deserve?
What does Rahel reveal as she questions Chacko?
Comrade K. N. M. Pillai is head of the Communist party in Ayemenam. How is his affiliation with Paradise Pickles in conflict with his Communist views?
Chapter 5: GOD'S OWN COUNTRY
In this sentence the author uses _____________ to describe the changes in the river over time.
How do the Hotel People create Toy Histories?
The author refers to something which has happened that he has not yet revealed to the reader.
The objects Rahel and Lenin put up their noses as children
Comrade Pillai's photograph of Estha, Rahel, Lenin, and Sophie Mol brings back memories for Rahel. What image of Sophie Mol is preserved in the photograph?
Chapter 6: COCHIN KANGAROOS
In a literary work, a motif can be seen as an image, sound, action, or other figure that has a symbolic significance and contributes toward the development of a theme. What theme does the reference to the moth develop? (This annotation contains a video)
Estha's feeling evokes
Chacko is proud of his ex-wife Margaret. What cultural values does his pride represent?
In Shakespeare's play "The Tempest," Ariel is a spirit of the air who, because he refused to serve the witch Sycorax, was imprisoned in a tree until rescued by Prospero. Ariel willingly carries out Prospero's wishes because he is eager to be free. (This annotation contains an image)
What do Rahel's thoughts reveal?
Ammu points out what is clean and dirty. Why does the author capitalize the text?
The children's conversation emphasizes
Baby Kochamma insists that the children sing in English. What view does this emphasize?
Chapter 7: WISDOM EXERCISE NOTEBOOKS
In his reference to "The Odyssey", the author makes a connection with the theme of
"The Odyssey" is Homer's epic of Ulysses' 10-year struggle to return home after the Trojan War. While Ulysses battles mystical creatures and faces the wrath of the gods, his wife Penelope and his son Telemachus stave off suitors vying for Penelope's hand and Ithaca's throne long enough for Ulysses to return.
Ammu's gifts and constant talking indicate
Rahel reminisces about her mother's life as Ammu's body is being incinerated. What was Ammu's relationship with her children?
Chapter 8: WELCOME HOME, OUR SOPHIE MOL
The description of Mammachi emphasizes
Mammachi refuses to accept Margaret Kochamma as Chacko's wife. Why does she dislike Margaret Kochamma?
What gives Kochu Maria great pride?
The motif of Small Things and Big Things is repeated here. What Big Things are being left unsaid?
How does Ammu's perception of Velutha change?
Rahel and Velutha enjoy each other's company. How do their actions contrast with their counterparts in the Play?
Pappachi's major concern is
What does the spelling of "nap" reveal about the point of view of this text?
What is the Play?
Chapter 9: MRS. PILLAI, MRS, EAPEN, MRS. RAJAGOPALAN
A theme is defined as a main idea or an underlying meaning of a literary work that may be stated directly or indirectly. What theme does the "Hole in the Universe" motif support? (This annotation contains a video)
Rahel's memory gives her insight about events that happen in the past. What does she recognize about Velutha?
Chapter 10: THE RIVER IN THE BOAT
Estha goes into the pickle factory to think. What idea is clarified by the repetition in this text?
What is significant about Rahel's Two Thoughts?
The story adds an element of the fantastic to the text and helps the reader see how Rahel and Estha view the world.
Imagery is the use of figurative language to represent objects, actions, and ideas in such a way that it appeals to our physical senses. How does this text appeal to your senses? (This annotation contains a video)
The twins begin to work on the boat without having to discuss it. This action displays their
Kuttappen is Velutha's brother. In what ways are the two men different?
What is the purpose of Kuttapen's warning?
Notice Rahel's choice of words when she talks to Velutha. What does it say about their relationship?
Chapter 11: THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS
The man in Ammu's dream is
The author relates the tragic story of the fisherman and lovers after Ammu shares her dream. Why does she place this story here?
Ammu realizes that her children's love and that of Velutha is
As you watch this video on symbolism, think about what Paradise Pickles symbolizes? (This annotation contains a video)
By now you have noticed the way the narrative moves back and forth between the narrator telling us what the character is thinking and showing us the character’s conscious thoughts, without denoting which thought belongs to whom. This is called free direct discourse.
Chapter 12: KOCHU THOMBAN
The author describes the great Hindi myths and their significance. The word "Kathakali" means "story-play". It is known for its elaborate costumes and makeup. View the Kathakali performance in the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
In the video, how does the performer mainly convey his message?
Why does the author italicize this text?
Chapter 13: THE PESSIMIST AND THE OPTIMIST
In literature, point of view is the mode of narration that an author employs to let the readers “hear” and “see” what takes place in a story. It also refers to the cultural lens through which a story is told. As you watch this video on point of view, consider what you have noticed about the point of view in this narrative. (This annotation contains a video)
The perspective of this narrative is
Flashbacks are interruptions that writers do to insert past events in order to provide background or context to the current events of a narrative. Watch the video on flashback before you answer the following question. What do we learn about Margaret Kochamma and Chacko in this flashback? (This annotation contains a video)
Chacko's attraction to Margaret supports his views as
Margaret Kochamma hides her pain when Joe is killed in an accident. What theme is supported by the Hole in the Universe motif?
Ammu's words are examples of
Vellya Paapen tells Mammachi of the affair between Ammu and Velutha. Why does Baby Kochamma secretly revel at this news?
Of what crime does Baby Kochamma accuse Velutha?
The text returns to Sophie Mol's funeral, but now you understand the circumstances surrounding her death.
What feelings does the text evoke as Sophie Mol prepares to meet her cousins?
Chapter 14: WORK IS STRUGGLE
Lochinvar is a brave knight who arrives unannounced at the bridal feast of Ellen, his beloved, who is about to be married to “ a laggard in love and a dastard in war.” Lochinvar claims one dance with the bride and dances her out the door, swooping her up onto his horse, and they ride off together into the unknown. (This annotation contains an image)
Read the poem "Lochinvar," paying particular attention to stanza four. (This annotation contains a link)
What theme does the poem "Lochinvar" have in common with the text?
Chacko visits Comrade Pillai's home. Why does Comrade Pillai manipulate the circumstances?
Comrade Pillai bases the revolution on
The author begins to connect events that the various characters have alluded to throughout the narrative.
In literature, a conflict is a literary element that involves a struggle between two opposing forces, usually a protagonist and antagonist. What conflicts does Velutha face? (This annotation contains a video)
Chapter 15: THE CROSSING
The purpose of this chapter is
Chapter 16: A FEW HOURS LATER
The children's boat overturns before they reach the Other Side. What does Pappachi's moth foreshadow?
Chapter 17: COCHIN HARBOR TERMINUS
What do Baby Kochamma's diary entries reveal about her?
The narrative shifts to Estha's perspective. How does the narrator's use of imagery influence the message?
The phrase written backward symbolizes
Chapter 18: THE HISTORY HOUSE
Figurative language means language in which figures of speech are used to make it effective, persuasive, and impactful. What is the impact of the author's description of the Touchable Police posse's trek to the History House? (This annotation contains a video)
Why does the author compare the policemen's actions to these activities?
Which archetype is Velutha's character?
This video describes archetypes. Use the information learned in the video to answer the next question. (This annotation contains a video)
Chapter 19: SAVING AMMU
Estha and Rahel are brought to the police station after they are taken from the History House. Why do they read the board on the wall backwards?
Baby Kochamma's manipulation of the children shows her to be
Baby Kochamma presents Estha and Rahel with a conflict. Why does this decision cause so much turmoil in the future?
The author's figurative language portrays Baby Kochamma as
Chapter 20: THE MADRAS MAIL
The narrator switches back to 1969 when Ammu is Returned. What new insight have you gained about Sophie Mol's death?
The author uses this language to
This phrase is from Rudyard Kipling's classic children book "The Jungle Book" in which a young boy, or mancub, is raised by a wolf pack. They name him Mowgli, which means "little frog". Baloo the bear teaches him the laws of the jungle and the slogan “one blood, you and me.” (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 21: THE COST OF LIVING
Who is the he that Ammu refers to?
The narrator presents a list of small things. How do they help the reader understand the big things that are left unsaid?
The similes evoke a spirit of