The God of Small Things

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)
Ammu’s brother, who received all the privilege that Ammu was denied. Chacko went to Oxford and became a Rhodes Scholar. While in London he married Margaret Kochamma, but she left him after their daughter, Sophie Mol, was born. Chacko then returns to Ayemenem and takes over Paradise Pickles. Though Chacko supports Marxism, in practice he acts as a typical landlord with traditional caste prejudices.

Chacko Ipe Quotes in The God of Small Things

The The God of Small Things quotes below are all either spoken by Chacko Ipe or refer to Chacko Ipe. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the HarperCollins edition of The God of Small Things published in 1998.
Chapter 2 Quotes

“Stop posing as the children’s Great Savior!” Ammu said. “When it comes down to brass tacks, you don’t give a damn about them. Or me.”
“Should I?” Chacko said. “Are they my responsibility?”
He said that Ammu and Estha and Rahel were millstones around his neck.

Related Characters: Ammu (speaker), Chacko Ipe (speaker), Rahel Ipe, Esthappen Yako Ipe (Estha)
Explanation and Analysis:

In an argument in the car, Chacko defends the twins from Ammu's anger, and in response Ammu lashes out at her brother, accusing him of hypocrisy. And indeed, as the only man in a relatively wealthy family, Chacko is the most privileged member of the Ipes. He has the freedom to play at being a Marxist or a sympathetic uncle, but doesn't have to face any real responsibilities or consequences because of these positions—he can use the jargon of Marxism with his workers while still exploiting them and retaining his wealth and power, and he can be kind to the twins when it's convenient for him, without having to really take care of them or sacrifice anything of himself.

In tragic contrast to Chacko's casual attitude towards his sister, nephew, and niece, Estha and Rahel truly desire Chacko's love. Thus they are presumably very hurt (though the narrator tellingly detaches from their perspectives here) when he so easily and carelessly shifts from defending them to calling them "millstones around his neck." This image—of the children as a deadly, hateful burden weighing someone down—will return later, as Ammu repeats it in one of the novel's climactic scenes.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The God of Small Things quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Chapter 8 Quotes

She was aware of his libertine relationships with the women in the factory, but had ceased to be hurt by them. When Baby Kochamma brought up the subject, Mammachi became tense and tight-lipped.
“He can’t help having a Man’s Needs,” she said primly.
Surprisingly, Baby Kochamma accepted this explanation, and the enigmatic, secretly thrilling notion of Men’s Needs gained implicit sanction in the Ayemenem House. Neither Mammachi nor Baby Kochamma saw any contradiction between Chacko’s Marxist mind and feudal libido.

Related Characters: Mammachi (speaker), Navomi Ipe (Baby Kochamma), Chacko Ipe
Explanation and Analysis:

Mammachi loves her son Chacko intensely, even with a kind of quasi-romantic love, and so she is initially hurt by his many "libertine relationships" with his factory workers. She eventually decides to accept these affairs, however, although she even goes so far as to pay money to Chacko's lovers so that she can see them as "prostitutes" and thus more easily scorn or ignore them. Mammachi and Baby Kochamma's acceptance of Chacko's affairs as "Men's Needs" that "he can't help" then highlights the extreme double standard in the house and society in general. Chacko's "Men's Needs" are seen as something almost sacred, while Ammu's sexuality (particularly later in the novel) is seen as shameful, sinful, and hateful.

The narrator also rather sarcastically points out Chacko's hypocrisy in these affairs, as he likes to play at being a Marxist, but still enjoys his "feudal" powers. He is the wealthy factory owner, and so can exploit his workers even sexually, undercutting any ideals of worker equality he might profess to hold.

Chapter 14 Quotes

With a street fighter’s unerring instincts, Comrade Pillai knew that his straitened circumstances (his small, hot house, his grunting mother, his obvious proximity to the toiling masses) gave him a power over Chacko that in those revolutionary times no amount of Oxford education could match.
He held his poverty like a gun to Chacko’s head.

Related Characters: Chacko Ipe, Comrade K. N. M. Pillai
Explanation and Analysis:

Chacko visits Comrade Pillai, a local Communist leader who also prints labels for the pickle factory, to discuss the Naxalite march and whether or not Velutha was there. Once again Roy shows Chacko's hypocrisy, in that he supports Communism intellectually, and can speak its jargon and play the part of a "comrade," all while trying to maintain his privilege and still exploiting his position of power.

In the upset of order inherent in Communist revolution, however, Pillai's "proximity to the toiling masses" (his lower class, essentially) makes him more powerful than the wealthy, educated Chacko. In these troubled times of sometimes-violent worker revolts, Pillai's poverty becomes a "gun" he can use against the newly-vulnerable Chacko.

Note also that while Chacko is a hypocrite, so is Pillai—he takes Chacko's money (for new labels for the pickles) even as he plots to overthrow him for the sake of "the masses." In a similar way to Chacko himself, Pillai talks about ideals of equality while simultaneously trying to do what's best for himself at the expense of others.

Get the entire The God of Small Things LitChart as a printable PDF.
The god of small things.pdf.medium

Chacko Ipe Character Timeline in The God of Small Things

The timeline below shows where the character Chacko Ipe appears in The God of Small Things. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Paradise Pickles & Preserves
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Small Things Theme Icon
...the funeral for Sophie Mol, Estha and Rahel’s cousin and the daughter of their uncle Chacko, Ammu’s sister. Sophie was visiting from England when she died. At the funeral Ammu, Estha,... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
The story then follows Rahel after her separation from Estha. She lived with her uncle Chacko and grandmother Mammachi in Ayemenem during the summers, where the “Loss of Sophie Mol” still... (full context)
Chapter 2: Pappachi’s Moth
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
The narrative picks up in 1969 as Estha, Rahel, Ammu, Chacko, and Baby Kochamma drive in the family’s blue Plymouth to Cochin, where they will see... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Small Things Theme Icon
...band called a “Love-in-Tokyo.” She is wearing a watch with the time painted on it. Chacko, a former Rhodes scholar, quotes from The Great Gatsby as they drive. (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
...He would beat her nightly with a brass flower vase, until one day the adult Chacko returned and put a stop to it. Pappachi took out his rage by destroying a... (full context)
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
Small Things Theme Icon
Chacko describes Pappachi as an “anglophile,” and admits that everyone in the family is an anglophile.... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
The narrator describes Chacko’s habit of assembling model airplanes and then almost immediately crashing them, despite Mammachi’s assertion that... (full context)
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
Chacko himself is a “self-proclaimed Marxist,” but he is still a landlord driving a nice car,... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
Chacko had become enthralled with Marxism in college, and he and Pappachi would argue every day... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
...the sliding back door, and set up all the machines in the pickle factory when Chacko took over. Vellya Paapen worried about his son, as Velutha had none of the shame... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
...his brother, Kuttappen, had an accident and was paralyzed. Velutha then returned to Ayemenem and Chacko hired him to work for Paradise Pickles. The other workers sometimes grumbled about his presence,... (full context)
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
...a Marxist flag and making her wave it. When he leaves and the march ends Chacko asks Rahel if she really saw Velutha among the marchers, as that could mean trouble... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
...blow spit bubbles in the car, which infuriates Ammu, as it reminds her of Baba. Chacko comes to the childrens’ defense, and the angry Ammu tells him to stop playing the... (full context)
Chapter 4: Abhilash Talkies
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Small Things Theme Icon
...and climbs onto some junk so he is tall enough to pee in the urinal. Chacko has gone to see about the hotel. (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Small Things Theme Icon
...Estha longs for a river to wash away his sickness. The family goes up to Chacko’s room, where he is feasting. Rahel asks Ammu to punish her, but Ammu says “some... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
Chacko lies awake and thinks about Sophie Mol, who is coming tomorrow. He last saw her... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
...outside Rahel’s room. Rahel somehow knows he is there and opens the door for him. Chacko ignores them and wonders if Velutha was really in the Communist march earlier. Comrade K.... (full context)
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
...began asking for raises, and Mammachi always acted as the traditional landlord and denied them. Chacko meanwhile continued to play-act as a Marxist and ignore the discontent. Chacko lies in bed... (full context)
Chapter 6: Cochin Kangaroos
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Small Things Theme Icon
...everyone greets each other politely, saying only “Small Things” and leaving the “Big Things” unsaid. Chacko is proud and excited to see his ex-wife and daughter, and he starts introducing everyone.... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
...his luggage nearby, and Baby Kochamma tries to impress Sophie Mol by referencing Shakespeare. When Chacko introduces Estha, Estha refuses to say “how do you do” and Ammu furiously promises him... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Chacko picks up Sophie Mol until she asks him to put her down, and then they... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
...Sophie says that she loves Joe the most of anyone, and she doesn’t think of Chacko as her dad. Rahel then recites her list of who she loves most, which goes... (full context)
Chapter 7: Wisdom Exercise Notebooks
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
Small Things Theme Icon
...story shifts to years earlier, the last time Ammu came back to Ayemenem, years after Chacko had kicked her out and she had no “Locusts Stand I” (Locus standi: legal standing). (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
...rattle in her throat and kept coughing up phlegm. They had lunch with Mammachi and Chacko, and Mammachi suggested that Ammu not visit anymore. Ammu left the table in silence and... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
...mark her as a veshya, a prostitute. The church wouldn’t bury Ammu, so Rahel and Chacko took her to a crematorium. Chacko tried to hold Rahel’s hand as Ammu disappeared into... (full context)
Chapter 8: Welcome Home, Our Sophie Mol
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
...never met but despises anyway. Mammachi hates her for her working-class background and for marrying Chacko. The day Chacko stopped Pappachi from beating Mammachi, Chacko became Mammachi’s “only Love.” She forgives... (full context)
Chapter 9: Mrs. Pillai, Mrs. Eapen, Mrs. Rajagopalan
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Small Things Theme Icon
...how she has no plans or “Locusts Stand I” now. Rahel remembers Sophie Mol telling Chacko that she loved him less than Joe, and Sophie Mol being lonely when the twins... (full context)
Chapter 11: The God of Small Things
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
Small Things Theme Icon
...bedroom (where Estha and Rahel still are), which Ammu would later be locked into until Chacko broke down the door and kicked her out of the house. The narrator muses on... (full context)
Chapter 13: The Pessimist and the Optimist
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
...Sophie Mol wakes up and thinks about Joe. She and Margaret Kochamma are staying in Chacko’s room, and Sophie looks around at the broken airplanes, thinking that her mother was the... (full context)
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
The narrator explains Chacko and Margaret Kochamma’s relationship. Margaret was working as a waitress in London when Chacko came... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Chacko loved Margaret’s English self-sufficiency. He rarely spoke about his home to her, as it seemed... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
They soon had financial troubles and Chacko got very fat, and Margaret’s parents wouldn’t speak to her. Then she met Joe, who... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
When Pappachi died, Chacko moved back to Ayemenem to become a “pickle baron.” He purposefully seemed to cultivate his... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Small Things Theme Icon
...grief by sticking to a strict routine for herself and Sophie Mol. She relented when Chacko invited her to Ayemenem for the holidays, however. The narrator then jumps ahead, saying that... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Small Things Theme Icon
...her inside, and then they send for Velutha, planning to get him to leave before Chacko returns from Chochin. But by then Sophie Mol’s body has been found. (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
When Baby Kochamma returns to the house Chacko and Margaret Kochamma have gotten back from Chochin. Margaret sees Sophie Mol’s body laid out... (full context)
Chapter 14: Work Is Struggle
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
The narrative moves to Chacko on his way to Comrade Pillai’s house (that same day, two weeks before Sophie Mol’s... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Mrs. Pillai calls for her niece Latha to recite an English poem for Chacko. Comrade Pillai arrives mid-poem, and he takes off his sweaty shirt and hands it to... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Comrade Pillai’s young son Lenin enters and sits in front of his father. Pillai and Chacko make small talk and Pillai boasts about his son’s genius. Chacko realizes that Pillai’s obvious... (full context)
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Comrade Pillai suggests that Chacko send Velutha away, as the other workers are uncomfortable with his caste. Chacko says that... (full context)
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
...his revolution would come too quickly and easily to be successful. After Sophie Mol’s death Chacko basically abandoned Paradise Pickles in his grief, and Comrade Pillai realized then that he needed... (full context)
Chapter 19: Saving Ammu
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
...Baby Kochamma knew that she must get Ammu out of Ayemenem, so she preyed on Chacko’s grief and managed to portray Ammu and the twins as the cause of Sophie Mol’s... (full context)