White Teeth Essay

A Post Colonial Essay on the Novel White Teeth by Zadie Smith ‘These texts are a celebration of the collapsing of boundaries.’ Explore ways that your chosen texts support this statement.

However, where Malkani states “slang wouldn’t create boundaries,” it could be criticised that in fact the boundaries have been broken due to the use of modern day “chav” language, which is defined as “an assortment of dialects made up from cockney rhyming slang and its derivatives, Latino phrases” and is spoken “regardless of gender or race.” [14] The media in society plays a big part of this as “ITV, BBC. Put him on MTV Base an I’ll listen to him,” (Malkani, 127) makes it evident that music has a massive impact on the younger generations’ life and is the way for them to interact and communicate in a community. Although in modern terms, proved by Hardjit when he said “shudn’t b callin me a Paki, innit” (Malkani, 3) evidently shows there are boundaries to which a “gora” – (Malkani, 3) which is defined as a white person – can talk to a Pakistani person. fuckin ido-brits.”Hence the boundary between them and society, they are seen as something the society is not. According to Ahmed the word Paki “was intended to be a form of violence and intimidation towards immigrants who had come to these shores from the Indian subcontinent,” [11] hence the actions of Hardjit had occurred, despite the “white boy” (Malkani, 3) not intending it that way. This sways us towards the second way Malkani presents the boundary, this time between us readers and the main Pakistani protagonist, Hardjit. In 1948, Empire Windrush was “the first large wave of Jamaican immigrants to the UK,” [4] and history like this portrayed people like Irie to be classed as an Immigrant regardless of her English half. Thus, Irie felt like “a stranger in a stranger land,” as she would be seen different to the British, and never would be classed as one.It then became apparent, according to Holbourne that, “Growing up in 1970s London” was where “people tried to apply labels to me and call me ‘half caste … Being Jamaican whether half English did not matter to society, which was evidently show later on in history, where “racial inequality was highlighted by the 1981 Brixton riot.”[6] Some would say that the middle of the story changed Irie’s tone, where she wanted “straight and red” (Smith, 277) hair, in order to become an English person. However, it is evident that it is a follow through from the beginning of Irie’s story.This is when the boundary of race and nationality would be seen as broken by either referring back to the roots within a family, or living up a nationality you are familiar and have been with throughout life.White Teeth being a novel, allows us to witness a beginning, middle and end to the story, which is split into 4 sections and can relate to the race and nationality the characters within the novel.In contrast, Malkani sets the boundaries of nationality through the “mash-up of London street slang; popular Americanisms (such as “feds” or “bucks”); Panjabi slang and hip-hop slang.”[10] Within Britain, proper English would want to be used in respect to the English Culture however Malkani sets us readers apart from characters by the use of language in two different ways. From the very beginning we are presented with the three titles of the chapters “Paki … Desi.” The word “Paki,” was initially used as a short term of saying Pakistani and has a meaning of the pure. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1985 Bhabha, Homi. , shortly after graduating from Cambridge, making her entrance into England’s literary heritage and doing so with unthinkable success.As a writer, she is reminiscent of George Elliot, Charles Dickens, Martin Amis, and Salman Rushdie.

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