Tuesday, November 8, 2011

If only everyone was like me... Well, the me I think I am

Samad spends a large portion of the book being very loud and indignant about his religion, but lacks the conviction to personally follow through on his own ideals. When his sons are in elementary school, he rails against the PTA for the distribution of school holidays. Samad proclaims that there are too many Christian holidays, and that the “Pagan” Christian events such as the “Harvest Festival” should be removed and replaced by additional Muslim holidays. Although this shows the white, Christian dominated Western culture; it also shows that most people have no problem with an imbalance as long as they are the ones with the more or the better. Meanwhile, Samad completely disregards, and, in fact, belittles the fact that the Harvest Festival has students donate food to the elderly. He constantly berates Alsana for not being Muslim enough, for example at one point he is outraged by her outfit of British running shoes, a Muslim sari, and an African headscarf. This was in spite of the fact that he was, at the time, wearing a British track suit, and his white mistress’ baseball cap was in the corner, not to mention that he likely had, just that night, drank alcohol, forbidden to Muslims. This culture clash is further exemplified in his twin sons. Deciding that they are too British, but not able to afford to send them both, he sends Magid to Bangladesh to grow up traditionally. Regardless of Sadam’s overbearing ways, Millat becomes a radical Muslim with a penchant for sex, drugs, and violent American movies, while Magid becomes the human embodiment of secularity. Samad is horrified by both his religious son and his atheist son, proclaiming them both failures.

1 comment:

  1. Good, what motivates his ambivalent and contradictory relationship with his own culture as well as British culture?