Brick Lane Chapters 16-18 Summary & Analysis

Monica Ali

Brick Lane

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Brick Lane Chapters 16-18 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 16 Summary

Razia is waiting for Nazneen when she arrives home, telling her that her son sold her furniture. She admits that her son has been a drug user for two years and supports his addiction with dealing. Nazneen now reveals the truth about her love affair with Karim. They visit Dr. Azad who says he can only heal the boy if he wants to be cured.

The girls make crafts in preparation for the mela. Chanu places his hopes in the Poetry Committee, preparing songs about going home. In a letter, Hasina writes of the beauty competition between her boss Lovely and her best friend Betty and relates how she snuck into Lovely’s bedroom and put on her makeup at her dressing table and spied Zaid, the cook, watching her from the doorway.

As Nazneen convalesces, Shahana threatens to run away if her father even tries to put her on an airplane. Nazneen continues her affair with Karim. She struggles with depression when she is forced to face the truth; there is no future for her sister because the money she was saving for Hasina all went to Mrs. Islam.

The family watches with horror as the World Trade Center collapses on September 11, 2001. Nazneen enters a trance while watching the repeating image of destruction, a repeating sign that their lives will never be the same. There is an immediate backlash in their community and women are having their hijabs pulled off by Islamaphobicstrangers.

Chanu tells the girls about Bangladesh, where three million people died of starvation and asks his wife if she is happy to go. She replies that it is God’s will.

The wolf at the door arrives in the form of Mrs. Islam. They refuse to open it and she leaves. Karim arrives with clothing materials and Chanu speaks to the younger man about his own dreams and how everything seems possible in youth but you suddenly wake up and realize that you are living a life you didn’t choose.

The mela is canceled.  While the girls are upset, Chanu is philosophical. The girls offer to stay behind as a…

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