Brick Lane Important Quotes

Monica Ali

Brick Lane

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Brick Lane Important Quotes

  1. “What could not be changed must be borne. And since nothing could be changed, everything had to be borne.” (Chapter 1, p. 7)

            This is a key quotation, introducing fate as the major theme of the novel.

  1. There is another kind of labor we perform, and if we withdraw it that will be a discomfort only for the men….A man cannot live without water. He cannot live without it, but he can bear the thought of no water. A man can live without sex. He can live without it, but he cannot bear the thought of no sex. This is my suggestion…That’s how the women in my village got themselves a new well.”(Chapter 3, p.77) 

Mrs. Islam reveals to Nazneen her understanding of the inner feminine wisdom at work in the patriarchal society. She is telling her new friend an anecdote about how the women in the village were told by a prostitute that the only way they would get water for their village is by withholding sex until the well was dug. This anecdote tells a great deal about Mrs. Islam, who uses all sorts of feminine manipulations to amass money and power. 

  1. “If you think you are powerless, then you are. Everything will within you, where God put it. If your husband does not do what is required, think what you yourself have left undone.” (Chapter 3, p.77)

This quotation is the key to Mrs. Islam’s insight into how a Muslim woman gains power. This statement is the key to the journey of developing the feminine power: the inner probing to determine what needs to be done. Yet, as a younger woman, Nazneen has to learn to apply this wisdom to obtain direct power.

  1. “If you are strong, you withstand the storm. Can you see? The storm comes and everything is blurred. But all that is build on a solid foundation has only tostand fast and wait for the storm to pass. Do you see?” (Chapter 12, p. 316-317)

Dr. Azad describes the snow globes that he collects. This quote follows Nazneen’s observation of Tariq, who was brought up without…

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