Subjective Reality

& Understanding the Epigraph

Anvita Devineni & Elena Grijalva pd. 2

What is Subjective Reality?

Subjective Reality is the perspective that your true identity is the dreamer having the dream, so you are the conscious container in which the entire dream world takes place.

-Your own body (and your mind) is your avatar in the dream world.

-You interact with the contents of your own consciousness. But that avatar is no more you than any other character in the dream world.

-This perspective is also not objectively falsifiable, so it cannot be proven wrong.

Realistically speaking, this concept means that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and perspectives based on their experiences; people have different goals, views and morals, and no one thinks the same as another.


Is Your Red The Same as My Red?

Mental Exercise

1. Partner up
2. Attempt to describe to your partner what you are seeing, without telling them what it is
3. Try to understand the perspective of your partner and how it is different from yours.

Understanding the Epigraph

"Never again will a single story be told as though it's the only one." - John Berger

John Berger (1926 - ): English art critic, novelist, painter, and poet

- His novel G won the 1972 Booker Prize

-very critical of politics and art; wanted to impact the world through his literary career

The epigraph is symbolic of the various characters that contribute to the novel;

-Each character has their own viewpoints of what is reality and what is important in the world

This is what we will discover.

Baby Kochamma

“So now you’ll have to go to jail,” Baby Kochamma said kindly. “And your mother will go to jail because of you. Would you like that?” (Roy 300).

“The Inspector said he’s going to die anyway. So it won’t really matter to him what the police think. What matters is whether you want to go to jail and make Ammu go to jail because of you” (Roy 301).

-her reality consists of upholding honor and being respectable, even if it means compromising Ammu’s happiness and supporting Velutha’s execution.

-terrifies the kids, influences their reality

The Twin's World

"Esthappen and Rahel thought of themselves together as Me, and seperately, individually, as We or Us. As though they were a rare breed of Siamese twins, physically seperate, but with joint identities" (Roy 5).

Rahel and Estha see things differently than others, such as Miss Mitten. They live in a world where they think they are a unit and they think that love can be given liberally.
They do not always see things the way other characters do.

Estha's Reality

"The fact was that there wasn't an exact when. It had been a gradual winding down and closing shop. A barely noticable quietening. As though he had simply run out of conversation and had nothing left to say. Yet Estha's silence was never awkward. Never noisy. It wasn't an accusing, protesting silence as much as a sort of estivation, a dormacy" (Roy 12).
"Anything can happen to anyone, Estha said. It's best to be prepared" (Roy 189).

-Estha's encounter with the Orangedrink Lemondrink Man changes his perspective on life; he does not know who to trust; seeks isolation

-constantly and easily frightened; not outgoing and lacks the outgoing character of his twin

Rahel's Reality

"When they lowered Sophie Mol's coffin into the ground in the little cemetery behind the church, Rahel knew that she still wasn't dead" (Roy 8).

-Rahel has an incredible imagination - she seems to exist in her own version of reality

-When she's scared, she feels Pappachi's moth crawling on her heart with icy legs

-At Sophie Mol's funeral, she thinks she sees her turn over in her coffin, which convinces her that Sophie Mol is being buried alive.

-She sees the kangaroo-shaped trash receptacles at the airport rummaging through their pouches for cigarettes and cashews.

Ammu & Velutha

"He could only do one thing at a time. If he held her, he couldn't kiss her. If he kissed her, he couldn't see her. If he saw her, he couldn't feel her" (Roy 205).

-Ammu's dreams of Velutha show her conflicting mind and her perception of her reality

-She is aware that she is forbidden to be with him because he is a Parvan, or an untouchable in the caste system, but that is overshadowed by her strong love for him

-Learns to accept reality and live her life in pursuit of the "small things" that represent the moments she has with Velutha

-Essentially, Velutha is the "God of Small Things".

Discussion Questions

1. How would the story change if Estha and Rahel were not twins and were not as close to one another?
2. What events helped to shape Baby Kochamma's perception of the world?
3. Would Ammu have fallen in love with Velutha if her first marriage had worked out better?

4. How did society influence Ammu and Velutha?

5. What influences the different realities that the twins experience in their life?

6. How does love influence the characters perceptions?

7. To what extent should people follow their heart if it goes against societal norms?

8. If believing in a subjective universe, how does one character's behavior affect another's?

Works Cited

"Foundations of Subjective Reality." Two Realities RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2013. <>.

"Subjective Reality Simplified." Subjective Reality Simplified. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2013. <>.