The Main Character’s Conflicts in The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy


  • Arif Alhadi
  • Femmy Dahlan
  • Al Azwad Fauzan


e-width: 0px; "> The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy tells the life of an Indian woman named Ammu Ipe, the main character in this novel. She encountered many problems in her life. Those problems derived from herself, the people around her, and environment. Certain traits of Ammu and the people around her create conflicts between them. Moreover, her living environments also add to her conflicts. Based on these problems, therefore, the purposes of this study are to (1) to describe traits of characters and setting in The God of Small Things and (2) to describe plots and conflicts of the main character in The God of Small Things. This study used structuralism theory. Roberts (2003) states that the principle of structuralism stems from the attempt to find relationship and connections among elements that appear to be separate and discrete. In this study the writer only focus on the characters, setting, and plot of the novel to reveal conflicts. According to Roberts (2003), conflict is the controlling impulse in a connected pattern of causes and effects, which refers to people or circumstances that a character must face and try to overcome. Conflicts bring out extremes of human energy, causing characters to engage in the decisions, actions, responses, and interactions that make up narrative and dramatic literature. There are two categories of conflict, the first one is external conflict and the second one is internal conflict. This is a qualitative research conducted by applying the close-reading method. The data collection is applied by (1) reading the novel repeatedly, (2) classify data related to traits of characters, (3) classify the data related to setting, (4) classify the data related to plot, (5) analyze and interpret the data based on the theory, (6) draw conclusion. Based on the finding there are three characters, Ammu included, having certain traits which lead to conflict with Ammu. First one is the main character, Ammu, she has three traits: (a) determined (2 data), (b) hot-headed (2 data) and (c) hot-tempered (4 data). The second character is Chacko, he has two traits: (a) rude (2 data) and (b) conceited (3 data). The third character is Baby Kochamma, she has two traits: (a) arrogant (2 data) and (b) ambitious (2 data). Besides traits, the writer found three settings related to Ammu’s conflict: (a) setting of place (5 data), (b) setting of time (4 data) and (c) the social environment (2 data). The writer found that the plot of the novel is flashback. The main character experienced both external and internal conflicts. There are 7 (seven) data that show her conflict with two other characters. For her internal conflict there are 3 data. In conclusion, Ammu’s external conflict with Chacko happened because of Amma’s hot-headed trait clashes with Chacko’s rudeness. Ammu’s external conflict with Kochamma happened because of Ammu’s hot-headed trait clashes with Kochamma’s ambition. Ammu’s social environment influenced her internal conflict and also becomes the dominant conflict.
Key Words : characters, social environment, external and internal conflict

Author Biography

Arif Alhadi

Jurusan Sastra Asia Timur