2020 Student Research Conference:
33rd Annual Student Research Conference

Culture, Tradition, and Self-Discovery: Using Zadie Smith’s White Teeth to Explore the Impacts of Immigration on Identity

Annie F. O'Brien
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Zadie Smith’s White Teeth follows two friends from war who have vastly different life experiences. Archie Jones, an Englishmen, and Samad Iqbal, a Bangledeshi immigrant, both live in London and eventually start their own families. Drawing on the families of these two men, this paper will study how Smith focuses on identity as an essential part of self-esteem and success in the world. The juxtaposition of these two families is a way to show the challenges of developing an individual identity as a first or second generation immigrant. This essay will explore how different cultures, socioeconomic standings, and familial heritage affect one’s creation and understanding of their identity. Especially in the case of people who have left their homeland, or have never even been to the homeland of their parents, this essay will focus on how one may struggle to develop an identity.

Keywords: immigration, identity, White Teeth, Zadie Smith, culture, heritage


Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

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