Zadie Smith's "White Teeth"

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Zadie Smith's White Teeth depicts 25 years of assimilation of two families and the third, already assimilated Jewish family in North London. The book mainly belongs to the Joneses and the Iqbals and how their intertwined destinies coinciding with that of the British Empire.


It is the story of two friends a Bangladeshi called Samad Iqbal and the Englishman Archie Jones. It is also the story of human destinies, difficulties, choices of life and more than that of human emotions. The two cultures and religions and different outlook do not confuse the issue, but make it more vibrant and sometimes, extremely hilarious. It is the story of life and people's tryst with that life.

Story begins on New Year's Day 1974 and Archie Jones' Italian wife has just walked out on him and Archie unsuccessfully tries to commit suicide by gassing himself in the car. With fresh enthusiasm, he goes to a party and meets Jamaican Clara, whose mother is overwhelmingly religious as Jehovah's Witness. They are married soon and have a rather hesitating daughter in Irie. Samad, in the meantime, had migrated to Britain after WWI and his arranged marriage to Alsana and the arrival of twin boys Magid and Millat has not made the marriage easier. Maintaining their faith in Islam in an alien way of life was becoming extremely difficult and Samad resented the immigrant status1. To Samad's disappointment, Magid becomes a scientist and an atheist while Millat after a spate of womanising and binge drinking, becomes a militant fundamentalist. The Jewish Catholic family of Oxford educated intellectuals, Chalfens there is a connectivity. Marcus Chalfen is a geneticist and his wife Joyce is a housewife. ...
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