By comparing White Teeth with at least one other proper text, check out the presentation of household and household relationships in postcolonial literature.
The ‘metanarrative’ of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth varies from the direct linear narrative of other postcolonial texts such as Things Fall Apart and Disgrace. The metanarrative of White Teeth presents the strains and fragmentation of households in the postcolonial setting with a gently funny, unserious and possibly optimistic method whereas these other texts are more unclear yet emotive. The serendipitous occasions of White Teeth can at times end up being impractical, and Smith has been implicated of disregarding characterisation for plot; however, in her 3 main households (the Joneses, the Iqbals and the Chalfens) she develops an effective expression of the postcolonial struggles for her characters.
Family and history are 2 main relationships in the postcolonial genre. Things Fall Apart begins with an explanation of Okwonkwo’s history as the greatest wrestler in Umuofia and his attempts to move away from the credibility of his dad as an unserious and unsuccessful Ibo man. Achebe develops the significance of family history and relationships throughout the novel and utilizes this to lament the destruction of the Ibo custom with the arrival of the colonisers. The positive representation of Uchendu, a fairly far-off relation for the degree of assistance he supplies to Okwonkwo throughout his seven-year exile, is a main example of the family values commemorated in the standard postcolonial novel from the perspective of the ‘colonised’. While the history of Okwonkwo’s father is not central to the story (beyond describing a few of the qualities possessed by Okwonkwo), Achebe utilizes the gadget to develop the understanding of the worths of the Ibo and advance the more traditional postcolonial style of the destruction of the livelihood of the ‘colonised’ by the arrival of the ‘colonisers’.
White Teeth provides a less severe technique to household history as it is a trouble more than the concern it ended up being for Okwonkwo. The conference of Magid and Millat in a neutral space (an idea that in itself enables the author to develop numerous concepts of the hybridity of multicultural Britain in trying to find a location with no ‘history’), exists with an unserious humour– “they take what was blank and smear it with the stinking shit of the past like excitable children”. The profanity and images of “smear” and “excitable children” produces an unserious undertone to the problem of history and the conflicts of the past. The innocence of “excitable children” avoids household histories being thought about malicious burdens however simply an aspect of the dislocated presence of the immigrant in the postcolonial society.
The discussion of the family has a different result in White Teeth to Achebe’s Things Break down as the novel relocations into the ‘post-post-colonial’ genre. The ‘post-post-colonial’ point of view and the conflicts of the “second generation” as recognised by Neena, “niece of Pity.” In her words “What are you scared of, Alsi? He is second-generation,” she emphasises a different conflict in the household than the conventional postcolonial texts. Where Achebe utilizes the household as a main function of the rich culture of the ‘colonised’ after a number of generations, Smith reveals the disputes of identity created by the household. Since of the various situations of the two novels in regards to the ‘coloniser-colonised’ dynamic, the presentations of the concerns are inevitably various. Nevertheless, the focus on the postcolonial style is not particularly on the worths of the family however on the consequences of the contrasting values in between the family and the person. This is shown as Achebe provides in some cases unpleasant details of the Ibo family traditions, such as having more than one wife and Okwonkwo’s violence towards them, in spite of his normally favorable viewpoint of the Ibo values. Similarly, Smith does not present a judgement of the households in her novel however shows the individual disputes, especially of her more youthful characters and Samad, as dislocated in the postcolonial society.
In Disgrace, Coetzee provides abrasive attitudes by contrasting Lucy’s acquiescence to rape (accepting that “possibly this is the cost you need to pay”) and David’s refusal to accept the scenario (with his belief that their life in the Eastern Cape is “like a pet dog”). Problems of politics and morality underpin the dispute between David and Lucy, who are “so far, so bitterly apart,” whereas Smith does not attend to these themes. Instead, she concentrates on the issues of identity and getting rid of the dislocation and ‘double-consciousness’ of the second-generation immigrant.
White Teeth presents the stress and fragmentation of households in the postcolonial setting through the contradiction of expectations and actions between generations. The Jones family has the least dispute; the connotations of the name itself as the stereotypical ‘typical’ British household emphasises this expectation. The discord between Clara and Hortense is a significant conflict in the household and as Clara effectively gets rid of the burden of expectation of her mom, she might be analyzed as a successful personification of the transition from self-important family expectations (due to her rigorous Jehovah’s Witness childhood) to a sense of independence in her marriage to Archie. However, some critics have concerned Clara as a significant flaw in the novel, stating Smith “advantages plot over characterisation”. Although Clara is not established in information and questions remain about the situations and complete satisfaction in her marriage, the conclusion– in which Irie weds Marcus due to the fact that “you can only prevent you fate for so long”– may show a sense of optimism in the unique and not underdevelopment. Smith might be suggesting that the quarrels of family in the postcolonial confusion are not as significant as they might appear which it may be more efficient to accept the challenges with regret as shown by Clara because “they can not escape their history any more than you yourself can lose your shadow.”
The nature of the Chalfen family could reflect an important postcolonial theme. The in-depth family tree, “an intricate illustrated oak that stretched back to the 1600s” establishes the contrasts of different households and histories in the postcolonial with the unpredictable history of the Jones family. Although the Chalfens end up being figures of amusement in the unique, the method which they “referred to themselves as nouns, verbs and sometimes adjectives” has a comparable quality to the insular family and tribal worths of the Ibo. The attention to household relationships from both examples stresses the overbearing aspects of cultural and social expectation of households.
The Chalfens end up being ironic as their seeming pureness is undermined by the description that they are “3rd generation [immigrants], by way of Germany and Poland, née Chalfenovsky”. Smith stresses the eclecticism of the majority of families in the postcolonial society through Alsana’s criticism that “you return and back and it’s still much easier to discover the proper Hoover bag than to find one pure individual […] Do you think anyone is English? Actually English? It’s a fairy tale.” The effort of the Chalfens to declare “purity” and understand their history is ironic since their household appears most strange despite being the most ‘typical’ in terms of family tree. For that reason, the postcolonial view to the family in White Teeth is one that values variation and sees it as unavoidable. The diversity of the household and the focus that there is no “pureness” might be a more favorable conclusion on the family than the distance that emerges in between David and Lucy in Disgrace or the complete rejection of Nwoye by Okwonkwo crazes Break Down.
The goal of Irie to be like the Chalfens (“she wanted their Englishness. Their Chalfishness. The pureness of it”) is not only ironic however the essence of the battle in the postcolonial theme to be “normal”. Crazes Fall Apart, Nwoye’s conversion for the elements of Christianity that question the doubts of his native culture about the murdering of new-born twins and Ikemefuna’s death reveals a similar conflict in determining a personal identity. The nature of the conflict is contextually different in the 2 books due to the fact that of the change in the postcolonial to the ‘post-post-colonial’ setting. Nwoye has a various difficulty with his family in moving away from being ‘regular’ to worths he discovers more appealing. Nevertheless, Irie struggles to fix her family history as she moves from a momentary desire to take a trip to Jamaica with Hortense to wanting the ‘regular’ life of “how some families are all the time”. In both situations, the relationship pressures are comparable, the conflict of generations in families as social values change become more complex with the addition of differences in cultural values.
Things Fall Apart begins by attending to the fundamental element of the conflict of generations in the family as Okwonkwo endeavours to move far from the reputation of his dad. This battle in itself is substantial but occurs in a more complex type as Nwoye decides to transform to Christianity which not only is a denunciation of a household history but of the basis of past worths. However, Achebe’s primary objective is unlikely to be an assessment of the consequences of the family from the arrival of the colonisers. Things Fall Apart thinks about the postcolonial from the consequences of a whole society and the Ibo people (as represented by Okwonkwo and his individual battle throughout the novel) which is in contrast to the family concerns that are so central to White Teeth.
The central family conflict in White Teeth is based on the Iqbals and the troubles of Samad in adjusting to British society as he regrets, “You begin to quit the very idea of belonging. All of a sudden this thing, this belonging, it looks like some long, unclean lie”. The decision to separate Magid and Millat emphasises the stress of the postcolonial setting on Samad and the ironies of the hybrid society as Magid returns as “more English than the English”. It is the affair with Poppy Burt-Jones and his recognition that he should make “a choice of morality” that leads him to his decision to send Magid to Bangladesh. The contrasts in between Samad’s expectations of his children and his own actions are basic to the presentation of the household as dysfunctional and inconsistent in postcolonial literature. The dislocation of Samad and his double-consciousness as he intentionally (such as his self-assurance “to the pure all things are pure”) and unknowingly (such as his uses of expressions such as “in some cases I do not know why I bother” which has definitely ‘English’ connotations) opposes himself is the device that produces much of the drama and humour in the novel.
The return of Magid as “more English than the English”, despite the efforts to provide him standard worths with a Bangladeshi education, and the “problem with Millat” throughout the novel extends the stress in between household desire and the hybridity of the postcolonial context. Millat embodies the very same defects as his father as he has a hard time to define a sense of identity and is unable to relinquish his libidos while seeking the inclusive peace of mind of KEVIN. Nevertheless, the tension in the book is mostly developed as Samad attempts to mould Magid and Millat in to “excellent Muslim young boys”.
The household is revealed to be inefficient in White Teeth and the poignant criticism of Millat that Samad is a “hypocrite” is more moving than the normally amusing technique throughout the book. Although the novel consists of poignant reflections from Samad of his seclusion and the situation of his kids, there is little dialogue from either Magid or Millat. The absence of voice to these characters and the usually humorous tone which is often produced by the absurdity of opportunity events such as the breaking of both twins’ noses may show the unserious and positive mindset of Smith to the pressures of the postcolonial family.
The conflicts withstood by Samad and his conflicting values such as his determination to consume alcohol but rejection to consume pork show the confusion of worths that originate from the immigrant household in the postcolonial setting. The description of Millat as “schizophrenic, one foot in Bengal and one in Willesden” emphasise the confusion and department created by the family. Although “in his mind he was as much there as he was here” the transformations and undertones of his “schizophrenic” character suggest an instability and uncertainty of his identity.
A substantial function of the role of the family in the disputes endured by the primary protagonists is that Smith does not explicitly ‘blame’ the households for the inconsistent characters of their kids. Millat does not seem the victim of the ‘foreign’ values of his moms and dads. Even actions such the burning of all his ownerships because of his participation in a demonstration in Bradford where, presumably, Salman Rushdie’s The Hellish Verses were publicly burned do not suggest a cultural dislocation in the household. (Some critics may use an example of where he declares to Joyce Chalfen that Samad had “kicked [him] out” to reveal the effects of cultural differences on the family, although this statement appears to be part of the humour of his manipulation of Joyce for sympathy and). However, this presentation of discipline and the general treatment of Millat is not based upon the cultural expectations of the household as may be recommended by the postcolonial genre however a disciplinary effect of his actions, such as alcoholic abuse, drug abuse and sexual indiscrimination, which would be considered as reasonable by many Eurocentric or other readings.
The pragmatism of Lucy in Disgrace to accept the oppression of the Eastern Cape for her survival and the devastation of Okwonkwo at his viewed dishonour brought on by Nwoye’s conversion have distinct links to the basic presentation of the family in the postcolonial. These 3 texts embody the conflict of new generations with older generations as social and cultural values shift. Disgrace and Things Break Down are more austere presentations of the postcolonial category and the disputes they check out are not definitively concluded but are left uncertain. Things Break down sums up the conclusion of the postcolonial struggle in basic and the reason for conflict within the postcolonial family, “what is great amongst one people is an abomination to name a few”. The problem of younger generations in overcoming these clashing affects on their identity and character is a severe concern in both. The suicide of Okwonkwo is reasonably unexpected and incredibly uncertain; Achebe leaves the reader to evaluate the impact of the colonisers on the Ibo. Similarly, David’s character breaks down and his actions are often challenging to interpretation.
In White Teeth, the household is a cause of disappointment and confusion for the younger generations and they withstand the troubles of double-consciousness and dislocation in their effort to determine their characters. In addition to the postcolonial conflicts of cultural identity, Smith consists of adolescence and a series of unexpected, often ridiculous, coincidences which offers the novel a funny viewpoint. The optimism of Smith is epitomised in her development of the style of opportunity and the mindsets of Archie, the least complex character who allows his future to be identified by tossing a coin. Irie’s outburst prior to the denouement of the novel is the most coherent presentation of the family. Her plea for “peaceful” and for “area” and wish for a family in which “each and every single fucking day is not this substantial fight in between who they are and who they ought to be, what they are and what they will be” reflects the pressures of the household in the postcolonial.
The innocent information of the nine-year-old Magid informing his good friends that his name was “Mark Smith” concludes the position of the household in postcolonial literature. It can be an awkward problem, a reason for distinction and a way of life that is various to those of pals and peers but it is not disliked and is not generally a destructive force. Despite the struggles with household, Millat still refuses to hear the criticism of his mom by Joyce and Irie addresses the seemingly ludicrous musings of Archie about the reasons that new bus-tickets have a lot “information” on them which reveals the underlying affection in their relationships. The haphazard, nearly ridiculous, connections between the narrative strands of the lives of the three central households, their diverse qualities and the juxtaposition of their mutual absurdity is the essence of the novel. While it develops the conflicts for the individuals of the story, they also combine to reveal the universality of dislocation and confusion in the modern-day multicultural society which is frequently the conclusion of the post-post-colonial category as poets such as Imtiaz Dharker invites in ‘Minority’ to see the baffled and alien identities of others and “recognise it as your own.”