Questioning what constitutes Englishness in the twenty-first century, Zadie Smith's White Teeth deconstructs the established markers of race, roots and origins. Expanding upon this and incorporating the work of Stuart Hall, Rinaldo Walcott and Molly Thompson, I further interrogate concepts of origins and cultural homelands to illuminate identity as a process of constant transformation. Rejecting the concept of identity as a fixed essence engages an understanding of ‘routes’ over ‘roots’. Thus, a post-racial/post-national theory focuses on the effects of hybridity. Such theories reveal twenty-first century definitions of home as becoming less distinct. Therefore, labeling the youth of White Teeth as the harmonious result of blending race and culture is too reductive. Exploring the problematic relationship of straddling the conflicting racial and national identities of White Teeth reveals that Englishness in the twenty-first century is about accepting a multiplicity of equally valid hybrid voices articulating the English experience.
|School:||California State University, Dominguez Hills|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 47/06M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||British and Irish literature, Ethnic studies|
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