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Themes

Mortality, or death, resonates throughout The God of Small Things. We find out from the very beginning that Sophie Mol is going to die, and our anticipation of and eventual reaction to her death keeps us on edge from the first to the very last page. But Sophie Mol isn't the only person who comes face to face with death; Velutha dies in an incredibly graphic and violent way, and Ammu's death scene is full of anguish and fear. The novel asks us to consider not just the experience of death, but also that of witnessing it.

Questions About Mortality

  1. Why do you think the narrator tells us from the very beginning that Sophie Mol is going to die?
  2. How do you think the novel would have ended differently if Ammu hadn't died?
  3. Why do you think Rahel believes that Sophie Mol is still alive at her funeral?
  4. Do you think Estha would have felt differently about condemning Velutha if he could have done it after his death instead of while he was still hanging on by a thread?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Sophie Mol's death has the greatest effect on the rest of Estha's life.

Velutha's death has the greatest effect on the rest of Estha's life.

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