Monday, September 3, 2012

White Teeth - Post by Washek


I have read the article white teeth and post colonial literature. The article mentions many examples that I could relate to as it mainly discusses racism, discrimination, and immigrants issues and I have already developed some ideas about them in the last few months, from books such as the Metamorphosis, The Heart of Darkness and the recently read problems of the Somalian immigrant, in the Granta magazine article Fragments of a Nation. The article "white teeth and post colonial literature" takes example of many literary works some of which I recognize include The Heart of Darkness and Bend it like Beckham- the movie. The article talks about how literary works can help us express the influences that, mainly the western culture have on the immigrants. The article divides post colonial literature into two types-

1.        the first wave post colonial writing and 
2.       the second wave post colonial writing

The first wave post colonial writing is the writing of those writers of a country who have recently become independent from colonization and are attempting to articulate an identity for the newly independent nation.
The second wave post colonial writings TALK about the problematic attitudes immigrants face while living in a different country. The article then mentions how different cultures their linguistics and literary works have become intertwined. 
The article the starts taking references from the novel “White Teeth" by Zadie Smith.(it took me quite some time to figure this out). As a result i had to do some research on the novel "white teeth". The novel is about a two wartime friends, one of them a Bangladeshi, Samad Iqbal, who live in London. Samad can't fit in with the English people, and although he wants it, he is unable to become a "proper" Muslim. So he sends his son Magid to Bangladesh to fulfill his dreams and become the type of muslim that Samad always wanted to be. Meanwhile his other son Millat who previously was a womanizer and a drunk, becomes a member of a Muslim brotherhood. Magid on the other hand returns to London as an atheist and becomes devoted to science. He becomes the assistant of Marcus a Jewish man. The wife of Marcus takes up the responsibility of "healing" Millat. The novel also features Irie, the daughter of Archie Jones, the wartime friend of Samad. Irie falls in love with Millat.
            The main theme of the novel is how the culture of Samad is lost – illustrating the dilemma of Immigrants. The confused state of Samad and Archie also rubs off on their children and even they don't feel like they belong. The summary also mentions racism in the novel. The name of the novel white teeth is also very significant, as it explains how this one thing is the only thing similar in characters despite their diverse skin color and ethnicity. 
The article- "white teeth and post colonial literature" takes many references to describe the hybridization of cultures. At the end of the article, it is also mentioned how women face problems from double colonizations – firstly, the oppression from colonial rule and then oppression from sexist organizations of a society. Zadie smith is hailed a formidable figure in post colonial literature.
I really enjoyed doing this report and I agree that reading such articles really does require critical thinking. I have tried to interlink this report with my previous studies

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