The God of Small Things

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Shri Benaan John Ipe (Pappachi) Character Analysis

Mammachi’s husband, an Imperial Entomologist who discovered a new species of moth but then didn’t have it named after him. This haunts him ever after, and Pappachi grows angry and cruel later in life. He viciously beats Mammachi and Ammu, all while acting like a kind husband and father in public.

Shri Benaan John Ipe (Pappachi) Quotes in The God of Small Things

The The God of Small Things quotes below are all either spoken by Shri Benaan John Ipe (Pappachi) or refer to Shri Benaan John Ipe (Pappachi) . 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

Pappachi would not allow Paravans into the house. Nobody would. They were not allowed to touch anything that Touchables touched. Caste Hindus and Caste Christians. Mammachi told Estha and Rahel that she could remember a time, in her girlhood, when Paravans were expected to crawl backwards with a broom, sweeping away their footprints so that Brahmins or Syrian Christians would not defile themselves by accidentally stepping into a Paravan’s footprint.

Related Characters: Rahel Ipe, Esthappen Yako Ipe (Estha), Mammachi, Shri Benaan John Ipe (Pappachi)
Explanation and Analysis:

The character of Velutha first appears at the Naxalite march, briefly glimpsed by Rahel. The narrator then discusses the "Untouchable" caste, of which Velutha is a member (as a Paravan). The caste system, which divided classes of people into a rigid religious and social hierarchy based on birth, was officially abolished in 1950, but in many parts of India it still existed in all but the letter of the law at the time the novel is set.

Tellingly, it's Mammachi, the oldest remaining family member and "preserver" of pickles, who remembers the more rigid and oppressive traditions of the past. She and Baby Kochamma, then, go on to uphold these social divisions later in the novel, even when the human cost is tragically high.

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Shri Benaan John Ipe (Pappachi) Character Timeline in The God of Small Things

The timeline below shows where the character Shri Benaan John Ipe (Pappachi) appears in The God of Small Things. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Pappachi’s Moth
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
...small personal business. She began to be successful just as her husband was retiring, and Pappachi was bitter and jealous. He would beat her nightly with a brass flower vase, until... (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
Small Things Theme Icon
Earlier in life Pappachi had worked as an “Imperial Entomologist,” and once he discovered a moth he believed was... (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. He describes... (full context)
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
...despite Mammachi’s assertion that her son is one of the “cleverest men in India.” After Pappachi died, Chacko quit his job teaching at a college and moved back to Ayemenem, hoping... (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 about the Communist government – led by Comrade E. M. S.... (full context)
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
...Paravan. He has a leaf-shaped birthmark on his back. As he child he worked for Pappachi with his father, Vellya Paapen, but they were not allowed to enter the Ipe house... (full context)
Chapter 7: Wisdom Exercise Notebooks
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Change vs. Preservation Theme Icon
Small Things Theme Icon
In 1993 Rahel looks through Pappachi’s study, where mounted moths and butterflies have disintegrated into dust. Rahel reaches into her old... (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
...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 his affairs with his factory... (full context)
Chapter 13: The Pessimist and the Optimist
Family and Social Obligation Theme Icon
Indian Politics, Society, and Class Theme Icon
Love and Sexuality Theme Icon
...as it seemed so small and unreal, and even on his visit where he stopped Pappachi from beating Mammachi he was still in a “trance” of love. He and Margaret got... (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... (full context)