Title page for etd-0109117-203632


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URN etd-0109117-203632
Author Wen-hao Hsu
Author's Email Address No Public.
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Department Foreign Language and Literature
Year 2016
Semester 1
Degree Master
Type of Document
Language English
Title From Love to Terror: The Politics of Fear in The God of Small Things
Date of Defense 2017-01-16
Page Count 79
Keyword
  • The God of Small Things
  • Arundhati Roy
  • Sara Ahmed
  • Postmodern
  • Jean-François Lyotard
  • Fear
  • Abstract Arundhati Roy’s award-winning novel, The God of Small Things, features a highly personal writing style as well as complex narrative strategies. The present thesis argues that such writing is in line with Jean-François Lyotard’s philosophical politics and reads the novel from Sara Ahmed’s theory of fear. Roy’s political agenda in the novel is to voice for the depressed through personal affects. Thick with negative emotions, the novel depicts the reduced circumstances of the characters under the rule of the caste system. Among all the unpleasant feelings, fear is singled out as the most distinctive emotion, as the affect is employed by the caste system to subdue its subjects. To further explore the operation of fear among the characters, the present thesis approaches the novel by mainly incorporating Sara Ahmed’s model of fear into the analysis. I will begin by delineating the Love Laws as the metanarrative that regulates the strict caste regulations and triggers fear as they prescribe the proper interactions among their subjects, the Touchable and the Untouchable alike. The notion of (im)purity in the caste system is of paramount importance regarding the caste classification, because it not only divides them in both physical and genetic sense, but also creates the mutual fear between these two classes. Moreover, Roy’s writing is in itself a way to express fear. Through repetition of the horrible images, Roy builds up a network of negative associations that creates a permeating sense of fear in her novel. Such repetitions not only help to intensify fear but also create a circular effect in her narration that imitates the wounded memories of the twins. Roy’s writing of fear is an attempt to raise the reader’s concern for the reduced circumstances of the characters by seeing from the depressed people’s perspectives. Her radical politics lies in her exploration of the possibility of overcoming the fear engendered by the Love Laws.
    Advisory Committee
  • Pei-chen Liao - chair
  • Min-hsiou Hung - co-chair
  • Yu-chen Lin - advisor
  • Files
  • etd-0109117-203632.pdf
  • Indicate in-campus at 2 year and off-campus access at 2 year.
    Date of Submission 2017-02-09

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