White Teeth

White Teeth Glossary


In Islam, a scholar.


In Islam, the name for God.

Chalfenist, Chalfenism

Of or relating to the Chalfen family. Characterized by intellectual gusto, atheism, directness of expression, and a tendency to deal with things in the present.

diabetic retinopathy

A condition in which the patient secretes blood from his eyes when insulin levels in the blood are low. Dr. Perret suffers from this condition.


The study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding. Eugenics was of great interest to the Nazis (including Dr. Perret), who wanted to breed an Aryan race using its methods.


Fighting Animal Torture and Exploitation, the extreme animal-rights activism group Joshua Chalfen joins to get his father's attention. FATE was founded and is run by an attractive woman named Jolie, and her husband, Crispin. Their protest tactics include personal attacks and the forceful freeing of lab and livestock animals. FATE is one of the groups planning to protest FutureMouse, on the platform that a creature's fate should be left up to nature and chance.


Marcus Chalfen's highly controversial experiment, in which he genetically engineers a mouse to develop certain cancers at specific times in its development. Chalfen hopes his research might someday help cure cancer. FutureMouse is met with protest from at least three fronts, including KEVIN, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and FATE.

Jehovah's Witness

A member of a religious denomination founded in the United States during the late 19th century in which active evangelism is practiced, the imminent approach of the millennium is preached, and war and organized governmental authority in matters of conscience are strongly opposed.


Keepers of the Eternal and Victorious Islamic Nation, a fundamentalist Islamic group with an unfortunate acronym. The narrator defines KEVIN as: "an extremist faction dedicated to direct, often violent action, a splinter group frowned on by the rest of the Islamic community; popular with the sixteen-to-twenty-five age group; feared and ridiculed in the press." KEVIN believes in strict adherence to Islamic doctrine and discourages all things Western, including pop culture, promiscuity, and open female sexuality. Millat joins KEVIN as a teenager, and helps lead a protest against Marcus Chalfen and his FutureMouse experiment.

Marcus Garvey

A Jamaican national hero and champion of black nationalism, he became revered as The Right Excellent Dr. Marcus Mosiah Garvey. After the 1907 Earthquake, he joined a printing workers' strike even though he was a manager. His other acheivements include starting a black steamship line, the Black Star Line, and starting the "Back to Africa" movement, in which he encouraged Americans of African descent to form a community in Liberia.


A Muslim house of worship.