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Fictions of DignityEmbodying Human Rights in World Literature$
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Elizabeth S. Anker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451362

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451362.001.0001

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Arundhati Roy’s “Return to the Things Themselves”

Arundhati Roy’s “Return to the Things Themselves”

Phenomenology and the Challenge of Justice

(p.186) Chapter Six Arundhati Roy’s “Return to the Things Themselves”
Fictions of Dignity

Elizabeth S. Anker

Cornell University Press

This chapter offers a reading of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things, which tackles specific lineages of oppression as well as the nature and genesis of human brutality using layered metaphorics of touch and embodiment. The God of Small Things indicts what it perceives as a widespread contempt for human rights in Indian juridical and political culture. Roy suggests that globalization has contributed to both human and ecological suffering around the world, and through her novel critiques the tourist industry, environmental neglect, and numerous other symptoms of both late capitalism and popular culture. She also censures neoimperialism for the ongoing exploitation of the global South and shows how injustice is spawned by routine gender discrimination, local class resentments, and even family life.

Keywords:   oppression, Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things, human rights, India, globalization, tourist industry, capitalism, neoimperialism, embodiment

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