The God of Small Things

Esthappen Yako Ipe (Estha) Character Analysis

The other twin and protagonist, Estha is more serious and well-behaved than Rahel, and he also experiences more of the harshness of the world at an early age. Estha is molested by the Orangedrink Lemondrink Man and then lives in fear that he will be molested again. It is then Estha who must betray Velutha to his face, so he cannot hide in the fantasies that Rahel allows herself. After Ammu’s scandal Estha is “returned” to live with his alcoholic father Baba, and Estha soon stops speaking entirely or even acknowledging other people. After twenty-three years Baba “re-returns” him to Ayemenem and Estha and Rahel are reunited.

Esthappen Yako Ipe (Estha) Quotes in The God of Small Things

The The God of Small Things quotes below are all either spoken by Esthappen Yako Ipe (Estha) or refer to Esthappen Yako Ipe (Estha). 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of The God of Small Things published in 1998.
Chapter 2 Quotes

What was it that gave Ammu this Unsafe Edge? This air of unpredictability? It was what she had battling inside her. An unmixable mix. The infinite tenderness of motherhood and the reckless rage of a suicide bomber. It was this that grew inside her, and eventually led her to love by night the man her children loved by day. To use by night the boat that her children used by day. The boat that Estha sat on, and Rahel found.

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

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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:

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“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:

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Chapter 11 Quotes

As the door was slowly battered down, to control the trembling of her hands, Ammu would hem the ends of Rahel’s ribbons that didn’t need hemming.
“Promise me you’ll always love each other,” she’d say, as she drew her children to her.
“Promise,” Estha and Rahel would say. Not finding words with which to tell her that for them there was no Each, no Other.

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

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Chapter 13 Quotes

“Because of you!” Ammu had screamed. “If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be here! None of this would have happened! I wouldn’t be here! I would have been free! I should have dumped you in an orphanage the day you were born! You’re the millstones round my neck!”

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

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Chapter 18 Quotes

Blue-lipped and dinner-plate-eyed, they watched, mesmerized by something that they sensed but didn’t understand: the absence of caprice in what the policemen did. The abyss where anger should have been. The sober, steady brutality, the economy of it all.
They were opening a bottle.
Or shutting a tap.
Cracking an egg to make an omelette.
The twins were too young to know that these were only history’s henchmen. Sent to square the books and collect the dues from those who broke its laws. Impelled by feelings that were primal yet paradoxically wholly impersonal. Feelings of contempt born of inchoate, unacknowledged fear – civilization’s fear of nature, men’s fear of women, power’s fear of powerlessness.

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

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Chapter 19 Quotes

The twins looked up at her. Not together (but almost) two frightened voices whispered, “Save Ammu.”
In the years to come they would replay this scene in their heads. As children. As teenagers. As adults. Had they been deceived into doing what they did? Had they been tricked into condemnation?
In a way, yes. But it wasn’t as simple as that. They both knew that they had been given a choice. And how quick they had been in the choosing! They hadn’t given it more than a second of thought before they looked up and said (not together, but almost) “Save Ammu.” Save us. Save our mother.

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

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Inspector Thomas Mathew squatted on his haunches and raked his jeep key across the sole of Velutha’s foot. Swollen eyes opened. Wandered. Then focused through a film of blood on a beloved child. Estha imagined that something in him smiled. Not his mouth, but some other unhurt part of him…
The Inspector asked his question. Estha’s mouth said Yes.
Childhood tiptoed out.
Silence slid in like a bolt.
Someone switched off the light and Velutha disappeared.

Related Characters: Esthappen Yako Ipe (Estha), Velutha, Inspector Thomas Mathew
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 20 Quotes

This was the stuff their dreams were made of. On the day that Estha was Returned. Chalk. Blackboards. Proper punishments.
They didn’t ask to be let off lightly. They asked only for punishments that fitted their crimes. Not ones that came like cupboards with built-in bedrooms. Not ones you spent your whole life in, wandering through its maze of shelves.

Related Characters: Esthappen Yako Ipe (Estha)
Explanation and Analysis:

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There was very little that anyone could say to clarify what happened next. Nothing that (in Mammachi’s book) would separate Sex from Love. Or Needs from Feelings…
But what was there to say?
Only that there were tears. Only that Quietness and Emptiness fitted together like stacked spoons… Only that what they shared that night was not happiness, but hideous grief.
Only that once again they broke the Love Laws. That lay down who should be loved. And how. And how much.

Related Characters: Rahel Ipe, Esthappen Yako Ipe (Estha), Mammachi
Explanation and Analysis:

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Esthappen Yako Ipe (Estha) Character Timeline in The God of Small Things

The timeline below shows where the character Esthappen Yako Ipe (Estha) 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
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...(whom everyone calls Baby Kochamma) still lives. Rahel has come back see her “dizygotic” twin Estha, who she hasn’t seen in twenty-three years. As children Rahel and Estha didn’t look alike,... (full context)
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...to the hospital when their car broke down, so they had to take a bus. Estha and Rahel were almost born in the bus, and later they wished they had been,... (full context)
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...to 1969 (when the twins are seven years old), to the funeral for Sophie Mol, Estha and Rahel’s cousin and the daughter of their uncle Chacko, Ammu’s sister. Sophie was visiting... (full context)
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...threatens her if she doesn’t go home quietly. Ammu leaves and starts to cry, and Estha helps her onto a bus and hugs her. (full context)
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Two weeks after that, Estha was “Returned” – sent to live with his father (the twins parents are divorced) in... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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...depression, as she watched horrible things happening in India and always felt an emptiness where Estha used to be. They were divorced, and then Rahel heard that Estha had come back... (full context)
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...about separating her children, and the expert said that it would be okay to send Estha away. So Estha took the train to Madras and then to Calcutta, still haunted by... (full context)
Chapter 2: Pappachi’s Moth
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The narrative picks up in 1969 as Estha, Rahel, Ammu, Chacko, and Baby Kochamma drive in the family’s blue Plymouth to Cochin, where... (full context)
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...no surname, as she can only choose between her ex-husband’s name or her father’s name. Estha has his hair in an “Elvis puff,” and Rahel has her hair tied up in... (full context)
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After Estha and Rahel were born, Ammu’s husband (Baba) tried to prostitute her to his boss in... (full context)
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...waiting cars shut off their engines as the delay lengthens. Beggars and vendors appear, and Estha watches Murlidharan, an insane man who sits on the milestone at the crossing, counting his... (full context)
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...they keep waiting the twins think about Ammu telling them the story of Julius Caesar. Estha used to act out the Et tu, Brute? scene to Kochu Maria, who thought he... (full context)
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Estha and Rahel blow spit bubbles in the car, which infuriates Ammu, as it reminds her... (full context)
Chapter 3: Big Man the Laltain, Small Man the Mombatti
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...on the Phil Donahue show, and the narrator muses about something a man once told Estha about dreams: “Big Man the Lantern, Small Man the Tallow-stick.” (full context)
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Estha enters the house silently, and Baby Kochamma proudly predicts what he will do, as he... (full context)
Chapter 4: Abhilash Talkies
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...take turns peeing into the same toilet. Rahel enjoys the intimacy this activity creates. Meanwhile Estha goes alone into the boys’ bathroom and climbs onto some junk so he is tall... (full context)
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...the movie the nuns are singing “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria,” and Estha can’t stop himself singing along in his high, pure voice. The people in the audience... (full context)
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Estha sits down and sings in the lobby, and he wakes up the man selling refreshments,... (full context)
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Estha feels unclean and traumatized. He watches the clean, white children in The Sound of Music... (full context)
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They take a taxi to the Hotel Sea Queen, and Estha longs for a river to wash away his sickness. The family goes up to Chacko’s... (full context)
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In the other room Estha wakes up and vomits in the sink. Then he goes and stands outside Rahel’s room.... (full context)
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...and muses that maybe he will organize his own labor union. On the next bed Estha and Rahel sleep while embracing each other. They dream about their river, which runs behind... (full context)
Chapter 5: God’s Own Country
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...for her. Back in the present Comrade Pillai shows Rahel an old photograph of Lenin, Estha, Sophie Mol, and Rahel herself, taken only days before Sophie died. (full context)
Chapter 6: Cochin Kangaroos
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...so they must be on their best behavior. Rahel digs through the kangaroo trashcans and Estha is distracted by frightened thoughts of the Orangedrink Lemondrink Man. Finally Sophie Mol and Margaret... (full context)
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Estha is momentarily distracted by a famous comedian purposefully dropping his luggage nearby, and Baby Kochamma... (full context)
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...she asks him to put her down, and then they go to get her luggage. Estha coaxes Rahel out from the curtain and Ammu berates the twins about disobeying her in... (full context)
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...Velutha, and then Sophie Mol (even though they’ve never met until now). She doesn’t include Estha because the twins “don’t count.” (full context)
Chapter 7: Wisdom Exercise Notebooks
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...place behind a book and finds Baby Kochamma’s rosary, which Rahel stole twenty-three years before. Estha appears in the doorway but doesn’t say anything. Then Rahel finds that Ammu had hidden... (full context)
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...hand as Ammu disappeared into the machine, but Rahel slipped away. Rahel did not tell Estha about Ammu, as it would have been too strange – like writing a letter to... (full context)
Chapter 8: Welcome Home, Our Sophie Mol
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...a Touchable, and she holds grudges against those she thinks have insulted her – like Estha saying “Et tu, Kochu Maria?” (full context)
Chapter 9: Mrs. Pillai, Mrs. Eapen, Mrs. Rajagopalan
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...than Joe, and Sophie Mol being lonely when the twins left her out. After that Estha and Rahel took Sophie to see Velutha, each of them in makeup and pretending to... (full context)
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Rahel watches Estha in his room and thinks about the twins’ troubled past, which she thinks of as... (full context)
Chapter 10: The River in the Boat
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In 1969, while the “Welcome Home, Our Sophie Mol” cake is being served, Estha slips away and walks into Paradise Pickles to think. The factory is empty except for... (full context)
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As he stirs the jam Estha thinks “Two Thoughts” – “Anything can happen to anyone” and “It’s best to be prepared.”... (full context)
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Vellya Paapen does not know that Estha and Rahel think of Kari Saipu’s house as the “History House,” though, or that it... (full context)
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Rahel goes in for her “Gnap” and lies awake until Ammu falls asleep. She imagines Estha waiting for her by the river (holding the Marxist flag that Baby Kochamma was forced... (full context)
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Estha and Rahel start singing an obscene song and Estha momentarily forgets the Orangedrink Lemondrink Man.... (full context)
Chapter 11: The God of Small Things
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...making loud noises. Finally Ammu wakes up and says she was happy in the dream. Estha asks her if happiness in a dream “counts.” (full context)
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Estha and Rahel start to climb all over Ammu’s body and kiss her, trying to bring... (full context)
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While Ammu is in the bathroom, the narrator elaborates on the bedroom (where Estha and Rahel still are), which Ammu would later be locked into until Chacko broke down... (full context)
Chapter 12: Kochu Thomban
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...him promise not to kill his brothers, who had insulted him. Rahel then notices that Estha has entered the temple as well. They stay all night as the performance continues, ending... (full context)
Chapter 13: The Pessimist and the Optimist
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Margaret Kochamma comes to irrationally hate Estha and Rahel for surviving, and in her grief she connects Estha with Sophie Mol’s death... (full context)
Chapter 16: A Few Hours Later
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A few hours later Estha and Rahel decide to run away, taking to heart Ammu’s words that they are “millstones... (full context)
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...lots of debris floats past them. Then the boat hits a log and tips over. Estha and Rahel manage to swim to shore and grab a low-hanging tree, but Sophie Mol... (full context)
Chapter 17: Cochin Harbor Terminus
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In 1993, Estha sits on his bed. Outside the old Plymouth has been abandoned and overgrown with vines.... (full context)
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Meanwhile Rahel is lying on Estha’s bed as he examines her body and face, which looks like Ammu. He remembers leaving... (full context)
Chapter 18: The History House
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...by “God and History, by Marx, by Man, by Woman and… by Children.” Rahel tells Estha that it isn’t really Velutha, it’s his twin brother Urumban, but Estha won’t let himself... (full context)
Chapter 19: Saving Ammu
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Afterward Estha and Rahel are at the police station with Inspector Thomas Mathew. They read the words... (full context)
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...be tortured by this question. Baby Kochamma is delighted at her success, and she sends Estha alone with Inspector Mathew to testify. (full context)
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Inspector Mathew takes Estha into the prison and Estha sees the bloody, broken Velutha. One of Velutha’s eyes focuses... (full context)
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...Baby Kochamma’s fault that Chacko broke down Ammu’s door and kicked her out, and that Estha was “Returned.” (full context)
Chapter 20: The Madras Mail
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The story then moves to the day Estha is sent away on the train to Madras. Estha looks out the window of the... (full context)
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Meanwhile Ammu promises that she will see Estha soon, and she, Rahel, and Estha begin describing their dream house, and a school where... (full context)
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Twenty-three years later, the twins lie down together on Estha’s bed in silence. Then they have sex, once again breaking the “Love Laws,” “Quietness” and... (full context)
Chapter 21: The Cost of Living
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...over this, he relents. They have sex there by the river, in the spot where Estha found the old boat – as if the twins had prepared this ground for them. (full context)