My Son the Fanatic

1034 WordsMar 26, 20135 Pages
My son the fanatic The generation gap is a dilemma which frequently occurs among immigrants, and in his short story My son the fanatic, Hanif Kureishi brings up the issue concerned. Kureishi introduces us to a father, who’s alarmed and puzzled by his sons’ strange behavior, which proves out to be against his own values. During this, Kureishi touches on the topics fanaticism and religion, and how these can change ones behavior towards ones family. Kureishi also focuses on how people relate to their roots. The main character in the story is Parvez, who’s a good example of an immigrant being well-integrated. He emigrated from Pakistan, where he was taught the Koran. He underwent indignity during this, and subsequently he avoided all…show more content…
Ali have been very introvert, but at this point we have Ali’s interior thoughts revealed; Ali blames his father for being “too implicated in Western civilization”(l. 218) and for having broken the rules of the Koran, which he means should be followed to the letter, for “the reward will be in Paradise”(l. 238). To this statement, Parvez feels puzzled and exasperated. But when Ali announces that he’s giving up his study, and especially after Ali have shown disrespect towards Bettina (which you can interpret as Ali insulting Parvezs lifestyle), Parvez can’t handle the problem anymore. Thus the short story ends up in a climax; Parvez beats Ali up while he’s praying, whereupon Ali says: “So who’s the fanatic now”(l. 392) “Parvez had been telling Bettina that he thought people in the West sometimes felt inwardly empty and needed a philosophy to live by”(l. 310). This could be one of reasons why the emerging problem between Parvez and Ali arises. The struggle is basically caused by the generation gap, which leads us to the central conflict; the two of them simply don’t understand each other. Especially Parvez doesn’t get his son’s sudden change in values, and doesn’t understand why Ali rejects the Western world, simply because it’s not compatible with the Muslim way of life. The development of the relationship between Ali and Parvez is the main focus, and with integration as
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