White Teeth Essay

She demonstrates an incredible sense of empathy toward her characters and is fluent in their cultures.The characters of Smith’s London come from various continents, cultures, and religions, which makes the intersection of immigration and race one of the most immediately obvious themes of the novel.The fact that the children have a complete mix of nationality (British, Jamaican and Bangladeshi) would allow them to adapt to the upcoming environment when born, as all 3 parents have successfully broken the boundaries presented which implies that they will in the near future.

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The fact that it is split a novel of characters – “Archie” who is English and Caucasian, “Samad” who is Bengali and Asian, “Irie” who is a Jamaican and English but Mixed-Race and “Magid, Millat and Marcus” who are different races and nationalities – allows us to understand that there is a boundary of race and nationality in London during the time of “1974 to 1999.” (Smith, Contents) Similarly in Londonstani, Gautam Malkani writes the book as a novel with a beginning middle and end however, it is logically divided into 3 exact chapters, “Paki,” (Malkani, 2) “Sher,” (Malkani, 135) and “Desi.”(Malkani, 271) Irie, a character formed by Zadie Smith in White Teeth tries to conform to the English nationality in appose to her Jamaican and become what Smith calls an “Englishman.” (Smith, 5) During the beginning, we are thrown into the deep side where, “there was England, a gigantic mirror, and there was Irie, without reflection.

A stranger in a stranger land.” (Smith, 266) Irie herself, lives in England where the image of a gigantic mirror represents the looks of an English person, yet when Irie stands in front of the mirror, she has no reflection. The fact that she has a “big butt, big hips, big thighs, big teeth,” (Smith, 265) does not allow her to be accepted within England, which according to Walsh through an anonymous review, was like “a literary equivalent of a hyperactive, ginger-haired tap-dancing 10-year-old.”[3] The short sentence “A stranger in a stranger land,” creates a strong image where it suggests that even though she is half English, she is still portrayed as a stranger in the country, and sees this country as a foreign place.

A Post Colonial Essay on the Novel White Teeth by Zadie Smith ‘These texts are a celebration of the collapsing of boundaries.’ Explore ways that your chosen texts support this statement.

Boundaries within society are like, “The clouds on the map” where they “would move, reform, disappear, and “new distinct areas would form.” [1] The “clouds” we would see as a cultural identity, sets us in a situation where we become distant.

As Malkani said, “these are rules and codes with all slang – otherwise slang wouldn’t create boundaries and barriers to entry,” [13] which implies that he had wrote slang in order for us not to understand and because of this we would have to read around the words to understand what is happening.

White Teeth Essay Trifles Conflict Essay

However, where Malkani states “slang wouldn’t create boundaries,” it could be criticised that in fact the boundaries have been broken due to the use of modern day “chav” language, which is defined as “an assortment of dialects made up from cockney rhyming slang and its derivatives, Latino phrases” and is spoken “regardless of gender or race.” [14] The media in society plays a big part of this as “ITV, BBC. Put him on MTV Base an I’ll listen to him,” (Malkani, 127) makes it evident that music has a massive impact on the younger generations’ life and is the way for them to interact and communicate in a community.

Although in modern terms, proved by Hardjit when he said “shudn’t b callin me a Paki, innit” (Malkani, 3) evidently shows there are boundaries to which a “gora” – (Malkani, 3) which is defined as a white person – can talk to a Pakistani person. fuckin ido-brits.”Hence the boundary between them and society, they are seen as something the society is not.

According to Ahmed the word Paki “was intended to be a form of violence and intimidation towards immigrants who had come to these shores from the Indian subcontinent,” [11] hence the actions of Hardjit had occurred, despite the “white boy” (Malkani, 3) not intending it that way. This sways us towards the second way Malkani presents the boundary, this time between us readers and the main Pakistani protagonist, Hardjit.

Smith describes the immense tragedy of immigration, which includes a loss of stability and status and the struggle to assimilate in a new culture without losing one’s native identity.

These are daily issues in the household of the Iqbals.


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