Summary Of Zadie Smith's White Teeth

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Moreover, the description of Laylor helps us to understand how the narrator views her. First, the narrator assumes Laylor as an immigrant from Spain because of her bad accent. As the conversation develops, the main character learns about Laylor’s situation and she starts to see her from different perspective. She goes from being grateful and thanks to uncomfortable and mistrust “It was then I began to notice things I had not seen before: dirt under each of her chipped fingernails, the collar of her blouse crumpled and unroned, a tiny cut on her cheek, a fringe that looked to have been cut with blunt nail-clippers” (Levy 2004). This change in narrator’s perspective symbolizes the change in society perspective towards immigrants “those asylum…show more content…
Clara Bowden was raised by her mother of Jamaican immigrant background. She struggles with her identity in comparison to Western culture. Clara dismisses most of the values from her upbringing and attempts to raise her daughter Irie free of doctrine. She accepts the racial hints about her daughter’s smartness. She accepts her Jamaican parentage as a fact. She has been acknowledged with the idea of her different for so long that she recognizes her minority status as society’s problem. This causes her downfall and shapes her belief of her natural…show more content…
His sons Magid and Millat also struggle, Millat does not know who he is, just like his father. Millat and Magid suffer less than Iqbal to fill the cultural gap of their identity. They do not have language problem as the first generation. They have grown up in a community where cultural mixing is familiar, and that why their identity is not closely related to their cultural background which is quietly different for Iqbal. The second generation of immigrants in “White Teeth” are constructing new identities based on the combination of two cultures of East and West. Magid Iqbal receives his friends, who call him with different name Mark Smith. Alsana is shocked and horrified to realize that her son has been called by a more modernized name than the cultural one he was given at birth; “ ‘Yes, M – M – Marks,’ said Alsana closed to tears at the final snub, the replacement of ‘Mum’ for 4Amma’ ” (Smith 200:151). This shows how Magid wants to shed off his Ethnic differences with society and seem more modernized and not so grounded by his

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