Plasticity and Marginalization in The God of Small Things: A Liquid Modern Reading
The God of Small Things is set in the post-partition India which deals with the cultural and societal change and fluidity in the Indian society caused under the influence of westernized culture and societal values, while predominantly dealing with the stereotypical, discriminatory and unfair treatment of certain gender and cast. The study is an attempt to look into how people tend to be seduced by some specific cultural values and discard some others even when they are moving towards being modernized, and in this case, under a group of colonizers whose so called agenda was to teach the uncivilized the civilized ways of life. The study is conducted under the idea of Liquid Modernity by Zygmunt Bauman from which two postulates are picked. The first one being the tendency of a constant change with in a society and how the idea of modernity was the cause of decline in societal norms while the individuals are seduced by the ways of the west. The second postulate picked from Bauman’s Liquid Modernity is how he terms the society to be plastic, meaning that it is something that can constantly be reshaped regardless of where and in what state it is. Another important objective of the paper is to highlight the ways in which the plastic society challenges the traditional power structures in which women and lower castes are marginalized and suppressed by patriarchal hierarchy and caste system. Thus, the paper highlights the positive as well as negative impact of the liquid modern society and in this way this paper itself becomes a manifestation of liquid modernity in which there is no certainty or fixedness. The findings show that the characters in the selected novel are strongly influenced by the modern western values and their native culture is significantly altered by that of the English, both in positive and negative ways, and there are no fixed cultural values.
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