Friday, February 10, 2012

Quotes for Friday from Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things

It wasn't an accusing, protesting silence as much as a sort of estivation, a dormancy, the psychological equivalent of what lungfish do to get themselves through the dry season, except that in Estha's case the dry season looked as though it would last forever. [12]

Though you couldn't see the river from the house anymore, like a seashell always has a sea-sense, the Ayemenem House still had a river-sense. [30]

"We are prisoners of war," Chacko said. "Our dreams have been doctored. We belong nowhere. We sail unanchored on troubled seas. We may never be allowed ashore. Our sorrows will never be sad enough. Our joys never happy enough. Our dreams never big enough. Our lives never important enough. To matter" [52]

Some things come with their own punishments. Like bedrooms with built-in cupboards. They would learn more about punishment soon. That they came in different sizes. That some were so big they were like cupboards with built-in bedroom. You could spend your whole life in them, wandering through dark shelving. [109]

It didn't matter that the story had begun, because kathakali discovered long ago that the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don't deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don't surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover's skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don't. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won't. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn't. And yet you want to know again. [218]

He still had about him the aura of rage that even murder cannot quell. [224]

It is unreasonable to expect a person to remember what she didn't know had happened. [251]

When you re-create the image of man, why repeat God's mistakes? [285]

Screams died in them and floated belly up, like dead fish. [292]

Biology designed the dance. Terror timed it. Dictated the rhythm with which their bodies answered each other. As though they knew already that for each tremor of pleasure they would pay with an equal measure of pain. As though they knew that how far they went would be measured against how far they would be taken. [317]


  1. I read this one so long ago, and remember having a hard time with it. It was so dark, and I didn't love the characters or their behavior. It's been so long now, and it was before I started blogging, but I do remember being disgruntled with it!

  2. It elicits that kind of emotions. Makes the reader uncomfortable but it deals with some pretty hard subjects.


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