Curled or Straight

Topics: Zadie Smith, Race and Ethnicity, Physical Appearance Pages: 1 (364 words) Published: April 18, 2013
Literary analysis “Curled or Straight”

Why race matters? In the novel White Teeth written by Zadie Smith, the character Iris Ambrosia Jones is struggle with her racial identity. Irie is a half- Jamaican, half- English woman in her twenties. England is the country where she grew up. She feels uncomfortable with her inherited Jamaican physique. Irie falls in love with Millat, Millat comes from an Indian family and he adores English women. Because of that, Irie wishes to change her appearance by making her hair straight. But it was false and she did not feel better with black straight extensions. In my analysis I will focus on the message of the text as I see it: that it’s important to realize that every human being in the world is different and don’t try to change yourself into someone you are not. To begin with, Irie is not happy with her appearance and would like to change it because of Millat. She thinks that if she changes her hair to Indian style, long and straight, so Millat will accept her. The hair straightening process at P.K. salon is very painful. Besides, she makes a big mistake by wash her hair before going to PK’s, thus getting rid of a protecting layer of dirt. Moreover, she has to go to Roshi’s salon to get the new hair. After all, she finally gets her new looks. Then she heads to Millat’s house, just to show him her new looks. But Millat isn’t there. Her friends is there, and they start to laughing at her new looks. Besides, they think that her hair looked better before. However, there is one woman in Roshi’s salon who makes her points by stand up for herself. She feels that Irie should be content with her curly African hair. Furthermore, she thinks that black should support one another’s business. To conclude, I think Irie’s problem is that she grows up in London, but her appearance is a black Jamaican girl. Besides, she decides to integrate more with English society. Nevertheless, she should realize that she can’t change her Jamaican...
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