Summary Of Mos Zadie Smith's White Teeth

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In White Teeth, author Zadie Smith depicts the lives of characters and their families across multiple races and generations. Smith’s characters live in a world similar to our own, or as essayist Laura Moss posits, in a realist depiction of contemporary Britain. Moss examines White Teeth not as a depiction of a utopian world, but as a highly realistic rendering of our times, in order to comment on modern perceptions of race and culture. Moss asserts that White Teeth comments on the real world’s evolution toward accepting racial hybridity as a valid identity, but in arguing this point, Moss employs problematic reasoning that undermines the credibility of her claim. From the start, Moss’s argument is rooted in the belief that Smith’s work is a realistic depiction of society. She cites statistics on racial demography to show that in the real world, racial hybridity is becoming more common, and mentions that Smith herself is multiracial (Moss 11-12). Moss then writes: “The current state of globalisation, diasporic migration, and contemporary cosmopolitanism has brought about a 'normalisation ' of hybridity in contemporary postcolonial communities” (12).…show more content…
Zadie Smith’s White Teeth is a novel which deals with themes that are very real—race relations and cultural hybridity are not the product of fantasy—but Moss is relentless in her assertion that the book aligns with the actual social climate of our times. She argues that the book depicts society’s evolution toward the acceptance and normalization of racial hybridity, but her methods of furthering this argument are problematic at best. Moss not only ignores the author’s explicit intent in writing the book in favor of her own idea, but she tokenizes other authors of color to provide what is actually very weak support for her argument. She desperately wishes to show that Smith is depicting a post-racial reality, but in doing so, Moss ultimately diminishes the credibility of her argument by revealing her own
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