2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Root Canal: Uprooting Zadie Smith's White Teeth
Rebecca L. Simington
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

In White Teeth, Zadie Smith explores the idea of roots in multiple facets. Set in the Borough of Brent, an area in London hosting an array of different cultures, Smith is able to delve deeper into the differences among characters, all of which are culturally diverse. These ethnic, familial, cultural, historical and etymological roots generate commentary on the fundamental social issues painted upon Britain during World War II. I argue that these differences affect the second generation more so than the primary. This divide shows the blend of culture in a unique, yet surprising way, showing that a devout Muslim man can share the roots of an Englishman, illustrated by the character Samad. These roots continue to grow in the story of Samad's children. White Teeth exhibits the beauty of blending, pulling together people of different backgrounds during a time when differences were not embraced.

Keywords: root, culture, generation


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 15-3
Location: VH 1232
Time: 8:30

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