White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Decent Essays
Zadie Smith’s White Teeth shows the difficulties that immigrants and their children go through while adapting to their new location. They must find a border between their past culture, and the one they now live in. Zadie Smith shows pessimism towards creating a third space of cultural difference—where cultural difference is an encouraged, positive thing—all while showing the gradual progression of cultural difference acceptance through the first generation immigrants to their children and how it effects the males and females differently—females being more accepting of a third space.
Hortense is the first example of an immigrant adjusting to a new life in Britain. She was born and raised in Jamaica to her Jamaican mother and her British father. Already from being biracial, Hortense is culturally different. Her main focus of culture that she brings with her and Clara when they move to Britain is her strong faith of Jehovah Witnesses. Her devoted faith to Jehovah started while her mother began practicing while pregnant with Hortense, “It was Hortense’s belief that at the moment her mother recognized Jehovah, Hortense herself became conscious, though still inside the womb” (Smith, 298). This is an example of when a person is brought up with one set of beliefs from the very start of their life that those beliefs will be important to them throughout the rest of their life. This is the problem with the second generation immigrants, they aren’t brought up with one set of cultural
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