Facts - The text takes place in Brick Lane, London - It is a working class area, kind of a ghetto, and probably one of the poorest areas in London. - It is Dr. Azad, the tattoo lady, Chanu (dad), Nazneen (mum)
Nazneen - Nazneen is about 35 years old, she is shy and quiet. She is being suppressed by her husband and it comes to expression when he keeps interrupting her when she speaks. - She doesn’t think that she is allowed to sit at the table before she has served the dinner, when Dr. Azad visits them. - She is brought up to be quiet when men speaks and that means that she can’t tell anyone how she feels and what she wants if she is not being asked. - She is Chanus’ personal housekeeper. He expects her to cook, clean and wash clothes. - She doesn’t speak English, and she has no education. Her only social contact is her sister who is involved in prostitution, back in Bangladesh. They write letters to each other. - She lives in a lower working class area, because they only get financial support from Chanu. Because of her lack of influence she appears weak.
- She feels lonely every day and mentions the live in the flat, as a life in a box. She feels isolated from the world and from other people. Because of her loneliness she has a need to talk to the tattoo lady, but she is to shy, to go talk to her.
More about Nazneen
- She cleans the flat, she cooks, she’ shops at the fair. She does everything that a real housewife does. Nazneen is very proud of her living room because they have got a lot of furniture and rugs of good quality. - There are too many rugs, showcases, chairs, sofas’ and bookcases, compared to the size of the room. I think that she is proud because she knows that even if she was as wealthy as her dad, she wouldn’t own as much as she does now. - She also thinks that she owns more than all her aunties and uncle’s can count in their homes together. - Nazneen is very religious. When Dr. Azad comes to dinner, she gets uncertain and terrified under the preparation of the food. She is scared that what she does isn’t good enough, and to calm down, she reads some line in the Qur’an. The Qur’an makes her confident about what she does and it makes her ready for the guest coming. - The Quran reminds her, that nobody is bigger and more powerful than God. She says too, that the Qur’an in Arabic is the most holy book. - The conversation is about how unthankful he is about having her. Chanu describes her as an ugly and useless girl that he can do to, what he wants. - He is very rude, and too secure about what he wants (especially when he mention children) instead of ask her what her wishes is. - To him she is like an object that he can decide for and tell what to do. - Nazneen kind of wants to talk to the tattoo lady. She feels lonely and she thinks about to offer some Indian food to tattoo lady, just to get a conversation with her. But she also seems a bit afraid of, what the tattoo lady’s reaction will be.
Describe and characterise Chanu. He is about 40 years old Has round shapes or in another word he is overweight His manners aren´t very good, but it is probably because of his upbringing, where he has learned that it is the man that should be in charge and the woman only are there to please them and surely he lives by that. Chanu is Pakistani with a very good education, it is most likely better in Pakistan than in England He is hoping to get a promotion, but it is most unlikely, unfortunately it is just something that he can’t see Everybody other than him is wrong if they do not have the same opinion
Answer the following questions in connections with Chanu. When he first came to the UK he wanted to be the Prime ministers secretary, but now he is a low paid, not in a million year to be promoted, but he will not realize it, problem could be that he is so sure about that he had made his family believe him, made them believe that he is so much better than the others. He do not like it, it is fore extreme racists
It is a party that is at the belief that holocaust never happened, and that white people are the only right people.
-Dr. Azad, who is Chanus’ doctor, is a very religious and well educated man. - He is well expressed and polite. - He is very strict about the Qur’an, especially when it comes to young Muslims boozing. He is wise and a person you must respect.
Issues in the text The text is dealing with following issues
Religion/culture How to treat a woman A woman’s duties/tasks compared to the mans
Equality How to be equal in a family To help each to get a good daily routine To feel relaxed with each other To respect others needs and thoughts
Appreciation To appreciate what other people do for you To appreciate what you have got
The message - Monica Ali wants to show us some cultural differences and give us an insight into the Paki culture. She is dealing whit cultural issues like equality in families and women rights. - She brings up examples of immigration in the family.
- Chanu is trying to immigrate by his job but because of the culture Nazneen doesn’t have the possibility to immigrate. - She doesn’t speak English well, and that makes it difficult for her to get at social network.
- We think that it was interesting to get an insight into the Paki culture. It was exiting to compare the Paki culture with our own culture.