Chanu’s thwarted dreams and dislocation in brick lane by Monica Ali
AuthorTöngür, Abdullah Nejat
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CitationTöngür, A. N. (2013). Chanu’s thwarted dreams and dislocation in brick lane by Monica Ali. Hacettepe Üniverstesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Dergisi. 30(1), 249-262.
Monica Ali’s Brick Lane is one of the few novels which sheds light onto the lives of the Bangladeshi community living in the Brick Lane area of the Tower Hamlets borough of London in the 2000s, and the novel mirrors these people’s life styles, work patterns, dynamics, faith, reactions, and problems. In the novel, Monica Ali’s central focus is on Nazneen and her personal development; however, it is possible to trace other significant issues of the time such as racism, discrimination, poverty, unemployment, underemployment, ghettoisation, linguistic hurdles along with alienation, disillusionment and despair. Particularly Chanu’s experience, struggle to survive and to succeed financially, socially and professionally as a first-generation Bangladeshi immigrant in London is very informative about the plight of the other immigrants. Chanu comes to Britain in the early 1970s with great hopes to work, to earn money and to return to Bangladesh as a success. Although he is better educated and more qualified than most immigrants his promotion at work is thwarted, his certificates and diplomas are discredited, he is compelled to take up driving a taxi to make a living, and his illusions about Britain are shattered over the years. His arranged marriage with an ‘unspoilt’ girl from Bangladesh and the birth of three kids are far from healing his wounds; on the contrary, he has bitter clashes with his daughters and serious disagreements with his wife which result in her infidelity. In addition to all these, he has to endure traumas in his life because of being trapped between two cultures and two allegiances. His daughters and his wife refuse to conform to the familial, moral, religious, and social traditions and rules of the Bangladeshi community and choose to live in harmony with the impositions and conditionings of the hegemonic British culture whereas he can not adapt to or integrate into the British society and culture despite more than 30 years of stay in Britain. In the end, he fails as an employee, as a father, and as a husband and the only solution he can find is to return to Bangladesh at the cost of separating from his wife and his daughters.
SourceHacettepe Üniveristesi Edebiyat Fakültesi Dergisi
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