The God of Small Things
How we cite our quotes:
Baby Kochamma resented Ammu, because she saw her quarreling with a fate that she, Baby Kochamma herself, felt she had graciously accepted. The fate of the wretched Man-less woman. The sad, Father Mulligan-less Baby Kochamma. She had managed to persuade herself over the years that her unconsummated love for Father Mulligan had been entirely due to her restraint and her determination to do the right thing. (2.55)
Baby Kochamma wants to believe that she chose not to receive Father Mulligan's love – the one thing she wanted more than anything. Forbidden love, like that between Ammu and Velutha, is despicable to her – and maybe it's because they have what she never could.
At Pappachi's funeral, Mammachi cried and her contact lenses slid around in her eyes. Ammu told the twins that Mammachi was crying more because she was used to him than because she loved him. (2.79)
Throughout the book, we see examples of duty-bound love. Mammachi doesn't especially love Pappachi, and why should she? He's been nothing but awful to her.
Frightened eyes and a fountain looked back at Ammu.
"D'you know what happens when you hurt people?" Ammu said. "When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less." (4.237-238)
People always say that a mother's love is unconditional – that she will love you no matter what. Here Ammu takes that guarantee away from Rahel in response to her careless, hurtful words.