Saturday, October 1, 2011

Analysing the cover of The God Of Small Things


I have wondered about it quite a bit and each time got lost in the beauty of the cover...I don't associate it with anything negative like death...though I agree with Hope..the lotus flower is one of the eight auspicious symbols or 'ashtamangala' in Tibetan Buddhism in which it represents purity of body, speech, and mind, floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire; represents the full blossoming of wholesome deeds in blissful liberation. The flower, as you know, blooms out of dirt and mud; so the allusion could be the pure love of Ammu and Velutha blossoming out of the dirt of caste system and untouchability. The plant also has leaves which repel water, which could symbolise the same thing - their love repelling the dirty waters polluted by the likes of Baby Kochamma and her family members. I personally liked to fancy the lotus as Velutha himself - the beautiful man with a "dirty" background...the man with "a leaf on his back, who made the monsoons come on time"....the one who dared to "make the unthinkable thinkable, and the impossible, really happen".....The many layers of leaves and their various shades of green could also hint at the depth of the story, the multiple meanings and the various perspectives....The presence of several leaves of various colours, with a tiny blossom in the center, appeared to me as if, we all are the same (leaves) but are different, whether in caste, colour or religion (colours), yet our needs are the same (the pink blossom) - love, togetherness and happiness. {Ah..this last interpretation is perhaps reading too much!! ;) }
Finally, the placing of the tiny blossom in the middle of those big, broad leaves could also be telling us to focus upon the Small things that the book talks about.