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Hybridity in Arundhati Roy’s the God of Small Things

Author YangFan
Tutor GuoGuoLiang
School Zhejiang University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Arundhati Roy The God of Small Things Hybridity the Third Space Representation
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Since its publication in 1997, the Indian writer Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things has received worldwide attention and acclaim. Short as its critical history is, it has been extremely abundant and profound. Nowadays, the novel has undoubtedly become a platform for both Western and Eastern critics to complement with each other and work on together. Its criticism almost covers every main critical perspective, such as feminism, Marxism, post-colonialism and so on. Although some of these studies have more or less touched upon hybridity contained in this novel, a\ systematical research on the representation of hybridity and its positive meanings remains, regrettably, missing. In light of this, this paper mainly uses Homi Bhabha’s hybridity theory to analyze the representation of hybridity from the perspectives of language, culture and identity so as to bring out the subversiveness and positive significance represented by hybridity in this novel.This paper starts with the discussion on multiple viewpoints and language games in narrative to reveal its linguistic fragmentation. Then it goes on to analyze hybridity in the Indian’s social contexts on two levels, namely, the past and the present, in an attempt to showcase the dilemma of modern India:rootlessness of culture under the influence of British colonialism and neo-colonialism. Subsequently, through a careful discussion on the double identities of Ammu and Velutha, the paper explores how hybridity in the major characters is revealed via ambivalent identities. On the basis of this, it further argues about the rebellion roused by and hope impregnated in hybridity: the protest voiced by Ammu and Velutha’s hybridized love, the power embodied in Rahel’s hybridized identity as well as the hope of building a third space.

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