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Title: 重訪偉大故事:《微物之神》中的純潔神話
Revisiting Great Stories: the Myth of Purity in The God of Small Things
Authors: 梁曉菁
Liang, Hsiao-ching
Contributors: 謝瑤玲

Hsieh, Yau-ling
Chen, Yin-i

Liang, Hsiao-ching
Keywords: 阿蘭達蒂•羅依
Arundhati Roy
The God of Small Things
Jean-Franç;ois Lyotard
grand narrative
Julia Kristeva
Powers of Horror
the untouchables
Date: 2004
Issue Date: 2009-09-17 16:20:16 (UTC+8)
Abstract: 阿蘭達蒂•羅依的第一部長篇小說(也是目前唯一一部)《微物之神》迄今已出版了八年之久。由於書中所觸及到的議題繁多,包括印度賤民階級所受到的不平等待遇,施加在婦女身上的肉體與精神上的暴力,或是在全球化下地方文化的邊緣化,所以至今仍贏得許多不同領域的研究者的關注。有些研究者將這本小說視為一個表現後殖民時期印度社會的文本;有些則將其視為將正規英文轉化為實驗性語言的絕佳典範;另外有些則將其視為一本宣揚女性權利的小說。
Arundhati Roy’s prestigious first novel (and maybe the only novel), The God of Small Things, has already come out for eight years. It contains such exuberance of topics, such as the inequality towards the untouchables, the physical and mental violence abuse upon woman, or the marginalization of the local culture under the influences of globalization, that it has earned the attention of many researchers from different fields even till now. Some of researchers consider the text as a fiction which presents postcolonial India, others find the book as a perfect demonstration of how proper English is transformed into a more experimental form; still others treat the novel as an assertion of female rights.
In this thesis, I more or less touch all of the above topics, and investigate them in the light of “the model of purity,” the system which only recognizes the approved essence and wipes off anything that is not. Thus in this thesis the term purity refers to concepts of the hygienic purity, ritual purity, and also the purity in the ethnic and cultural aspect. I will give background knowledge to the book in Chapter One. Then, in Chapter Two I declare Roy’s intention to mime the grand narrative in her novel, and how Roy’s writing lays bare the fragility of The Great Stories and how they work to ensure the invisibility of the minor subjects. In Chapter Three, I extend my discussion to the character Velutha. Firstly I explain and interpret his essence by his untouchable background; then I will analyze how and why his impure essence makes him a victim of others’ irrational malice. In Chapter Four, I also apply the opposition of purity and impurity to read the situation of the female characters in the novel. Like Velutha, the heroines Rahel and Ammu are also under surveillance of the purity code. The criterion of purity dictates not only the context of decent womanhood but also motherhood. The female protagonists are thus caught in the inescapable network of purity. Finally, I will have a retrospective look on my thesis in Chapter Five. Apart from this, I will have a brief discussion about the social reality reflected in Roy’s text as this issue once brought about controversy. This small debate will serve as my finale.
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