This is a Rerun: How Colonial History, Racism, and Cultural Traditions Shape the Immigrant Experience in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth 11th Grade
In Zadie Smith’s novel White Teeth, several main characters struggle with their cultural identity as immigrants in contemporary London. During the mid twentieth century, economic opportunities in Great Britain attracted many immigrants from former British colonies. The influx of racially diverse immigrants from ex-colonies caused a backlash of xenophobic sentiments and a resurgence of ever-present racism. Throughout the novel, Smith alludes to the immigrants’ internal conflict between the desire to assimilate and the determination to maintain their traditional culture. In Chapter VII of the novel, two distinct but interwoven journeys occur: Samad travels to meet his mistress, Poppy Burt-Jones, and Samad’s children, Magid and Millat, meet up with their friend Irie, the daughter of Samad’s English friend Archie Jones and his Jamaican wife, Clara Bowden, to bring Harvest Festival donations to J.P. Hamilton, an old British man. Both journeys involve immigrants from former colonies, such as Jamaica and Bangladesh, traveling to see British citizens. The two journeys that occur in Chapter VII represent the immigrant plight in twentieth century London and demonstrate the effects of colonial history, racism, and cultural tradition on...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 786 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 5438 literature essays, 1623 sample college application essays, 212 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in