Multiculturalism In White Teeth Thesis

Decent Essays

White Teeth. The title of Zadie Smith’s novel exquisitely expresses the author’s use of metaphor for unified race and cultural heritage. The author, by implying that people all have white teeth, despite different forms and faiths, illustrates a unified picture of a diversified race and cultural heritage. Indeed, race and cultural heritage are significant factors in the lives and experiences of the characters in White Teeth. The novel “tells the story of three different families: the Chalfens, Bowdens, and Iqbals. All have been placed into the multicultural setting of London, England where characters question their cultural practices and identities” (Thomas 15). The Iqbal family in London have been assimilated and integrated, still the first …show more content…

This was because they were born in the country their parents immigrated to and thus should assimilate easily. Yet, they were seen as strangers of the society regardless of their citizenship. “Their identity [was] questioned [simply] due to their ethnicity” (Abrahamsson 15). In the novel, the Iqbal family, hoping that one of their children can be raised up according to traditional Islamic values, sent one of the twins, Magid, back to Bangladesh, so that he would become “a real Bengali, a proper Muslim” (Smith 179). However, he felt “the feeling of belonging nowhere that comes to people who belong everywhere”(Abrahamsson 16). He then responded to the conflict by mimicking everything that he considered English so that he could fit in. For instance, he began to call Alsana “mum” instead of “amma” and himself “Mark Smith” among his friends. His parents have hoped that he could continue the Bengali tradition; however, in reality, his education in Bangladesh ironically made Magid discover his “Englishness” rather than his Bengali roots, and eventually returned to Britain as “more English than the English” (Smith

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