79 pages 2 hours read

Zadie Smith

White Teeth

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2000

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Part 3, Chapters 14-15Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 3: “Irie 1990, 1907”

Chapter 14 Summary: “More English Than the English”

Marcus strikes up a correspondence with Magid, and the two soon discover that they are kindred spirits; Magid notes that his “‘longing to improve the lot of [his] poor country—which is victim to every passing whim of God, every hurricane and flood’” shares Marcus’s passion for “[eliminating] the random” (304). Marcus in turn promises to fund Magid’s education when he returns to England so that Magid can become “the kind of lawyer [he needs] to fight in [his] corner” when he unveils FutureMouse (305). Irie, who reads these letters in secret, latches onto Marcus’s idea that while she “hasn’t any head for the concepts” (305), she might be able to become a dentist.

Joyce continues to devote her attention to Millat, who is slowly falling under the sway of KEVIN’s ideas. When Millat becomes irritated with his girlfriend for acting like a whore and breaks up with her, Joyce recommends (and pays for) therapy sessions:

She had read up on the subject. And it appeared Millat was filled with self-revulsion and hatred of his own kind; the he had possibly a slave mentality, or maybe a color-complex centered around his mother […] or a wish for his own annihilation by means of dilution in a white gene pool (311).
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