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With the British Nationality Act in 1948, which created a British citizenship for every member of the British Commonwealth, a mass immigration into Great Britain began. Most of the two million immigrants were Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. On the one hand they came to Britain because of racial discrimination and persecution in their own country and on the other hand it was just the time when the British economy was growing and so they were welcome or recruited to work in badly-paid and less popular jobs even in the coal- or steel industry. But the high rate of immigration into Great Britain from different continents and so the development to a multicultural country created problems. Because of different cultures, religions and languages immigrants had problems in identifying with other immigrants and to integrate in the existing community. A lot of the British were afraid of losing their jobs to the immigrants so racial conflicts arose and segregation became very widespread. Especially in the 60s and 70s when Britain’s economy deteriorated, the situation of the immigrants reached its lowest point. Most of the immigrants became unemployed which increased racial conflicts. Another point was that many immigrants had done unskilled jobs so that they were abandoned to do more profitable jobs which demand know-how. Since a lot of them were unemployed and wanted to escape from racial conflicts many immigrants had to live in overcrowded, unsatisfactory accommodations in run-down city areas. 1 So the British government had to consider politics against racism and problems of immigration in Great Britain. One of the first results was the Race Relation Act of 1976, which made racial discrimination unlawful. To reduce immigration in Great Britain The British Nationality Act was passed in 1983. By this act the members of the British Commonwealth and those who were not born in Great Britain or whose parents were not born there lost the British Citizenship. 2
Abiturwissen, Landeskunde GB/USA: Social Structure of Britain (pp.39-53)
Informationen zur politischen Bildung Nr.262/1999
So Muslims have to stick to the rules of the Koran. it also obliges. • A last important rule for every Muslim is the Hajj.2. But although Islam teaches the Muslims to live in peace there is also a chapter calling “jihad” which is translated as “holy war”. which means to donate some of your riches for those in need. These four most important rules help Muslims to live a fulfilled life in this world and to live near to god in the hereafter. The members of Islam are called Muslims. Islam teaches the Muslims to live in peace with oneself. So those who have performed righteous deeds will be rewarded with eternal bliss i n heaven while those who have performed evil acts will be punished in hell.2. Following this rule is necessary to relieve the soul. which lets Muslims feel the brotherhood of the Muslims and the closeness to Allah. which means that all human beings will be resurrected to account for their deeds. a third rule. The importance of living in peace result from the belief in the “hereafter”. But Islam does not only teach. which helps the Muslims to reach self-control.• The Saum. Peace is attained through complete obedience to the commandments of Allah who personifies peace. They believe in Allah and in Muhammed as the final prophet of god. The Hajj is the go on the pilgrimage to Mecca. with other people and with the environment. The main source of Islamic practices result from the Koran which is understood by the Muslims as the words of god. . Aspects of Islam Islam is a religion which means total submission to the one and only god Allah who is the almighty and the creator of “everything”. • The Zakat. nevertheless the doors of forgiveness are always open for those who repent sincerely. means fasting during Ramadan. Jihad means that Muslims resort to violence when their basic “human rights” are violated to defend their faith and the welfare of the Muslim community. To communicate with Allah and so to get a closer relationship with him Muslims have to pray five times a day. Some of these rules are: • The daily prayers.
html http://www. They are also forbidden to eat pork because Muslims think it contributes to the “lack of morality and shame” because in their opinion it increases the greed for wealth to eat pigs. A hint for this is given on page 149 ll. He had a first great success with his second play. 1954 in London as a son of an Englishwoman and a Pakistani.al-islam. Reference to the short story Because there is no specific time given at which the story takes place.de/?site=virtuelle_bibliothek/wasistislam http://www. Muslims are strictly forbidden to take drugs or to drink alcohol. who is definitely a Muslim. was produced in 1976 at London’s Theatre Upstairs. which I have described on page 3-4 (Aspects of Islam) are surely of importance to understand Ali’s behaviour.islam. 3 2.org/beliefs/index.org/beliefs/content.17-18: “His dreams of doing well in England…”. 3 http://www. The aspects of Islam. On the author Hanif Kureishi was born on December 5 th . 3 Since he grew up experiencing racial and cultural conflicts. Kureishi later became a writer in residence of the theatre.3. most of his works are marked by this. “Soaking Up the Heat”. Parvez and his family could be some of these immigrants who hoped to find work and better living conditions in Britain. I would suppose that the short story “My Son the Fanatic” is probably set in the time after the Second World War when there was a mass immigration into Great Britain.html 3. and his relationship to his father who is also a Muslim but not to the extend his son has developed.al-islam. “The mother . At 1972 Hanif Kureishi studied philosophy at the University of London and earned his living by writing pornography under the pseudonym of Antonia French. His decision to become a writer was already made at a young age at which he began writing novels that were intended for publication.To escape from moral corruption. After a humble beginning as an usher for the Royal Theatre. His first play.
But Bettina can convince him of trying to identify with his son so that Parvez endures his son’s criticism and that he is even growing a beard to please his son.edu/English/Bahri/Kureishi. “My Beautiful Launderette” for example. She advises him to watch his son more critically and to search for clues for his addiction. 4 4. Later he also tells his father that he wants to give up his studies in accounting. But Ali still despises his father . Summary The short story “My son the Fanatic”. by Hanif Kureishi is about problems between Parvez. Parvez drinks too much alcohol so they begin to quarrel. But also with his first efforts in the film business Kureishi was very successful and gained him a larger audience. who is a Pakistani immigrant in England and his son Ali.” Borderline”. who is a prostitute. One night when he is together with his two closest friends.html good he also talks with her about his son. As Parvez is a taxi driver he often drives Bettina around. Furthermore Parvez notices that his son prays five times a day. But his breakthrough was his first play for the Royal Court Theatre. So Parvez decides to go out with his son to talk with Ali about these things. for which he received the Thomas Television Playwright Award in 1980. But although Parvez observes his son very strictly he cannot find any kind of hint about his son’s addiction. Since Ali’s behaviour has changed Parvez supposes that something is going wrong with his son. Ali criticises his father because of breaking to many rules of the Koran and wants him to change his life. But what Parvez finds out is that his son is growing a beard and that he does not sell his belongings but he gives them away to charity shops. written in 1985. Furthermore he tries to talk to his son to tell him his attitudes of life. But when they are in a restaurant. Since their relationship to each other is very 3 Microsoft ENCARTA 98 ENZYCLOPÄDIE 4 http://www.emory. Because Parvez thinks that he has lost his son and he cannot endure his son’s criticism any longer he wants his son to get out of his house. he talks with them about his problems with his son and they come to the conclusion that Ali is taking drugs. won several awards.Country”.
3).153 l. A person Parvez likes very much is Bettina.21-22). Parvez only shrugs (p. He even says that he loves crispy bacon (p. 5. Analysis and interpretation of the short story 5. When Parvez drives around Bettina with his taxi they meet Ali on the street and they stop and take him with them because Bettina wants to talk with him.2 Main characterization of Ali . And also in England his attitude to the Koran has not changed.20:”To his relief. Main characterization of Parvez Parvez is a Pakistani immigrant in England.151 ll.154 ll. This is indicated for example on p.153 l. he found Bettina sitting in his car”. When he is told by his son that he is breaking the rules of the Koran (p.6) or answers “For instance?” (p.21). But when she tells him that his father loves him. his relationship to the Koran is very bad which becomes clear in many parts of the text. He even shouts after her to make her come back when she jumps out of the taxi and runs away (p.because he does not stick to the Koran.3 describes Parvez’ indifference to the Koran at his young age: His maulvi had to attach a string to the ceiling and to tie it to Parvez’ hair to stop him from falling asleep while he was studying the Koran.148 ll. An example for this is p.11-12: ”He could talk to her about things he’d be never able to discuss with his own wife” or p.7) and that he avoids all religions (p.3-4).157 l. even when he was at work.156 ll. He grew up in Lahore (p.21) and he has been a taxi-driver for twenty years (p. P.154 l. Ali only gets angry and begins to insult Bettina so that she leaves the car.157 l.22-p.23-24). It i s also obvious that Parvez has his problems with alcohol.164 ll.17-18: “he went more often to the whisky bottle.1. 5. Because Parvez now is very angry about his son he begins to drink when they arrive at home so that he finally goes into his son’s room to hit his son who neither covers himself nor retaliates.12-13).148 l.153 ll.150 l.” And even when he knows that he gets drunk he cannot stop himself from drinking (p.1-2).157 ll. Although Parvez was taught the Koran i n Lahore (p. 156 l.
10). ll. his stereo system and his guitar (p.18: “His boy .160 l.18-20). . but Parvez is not able to bring up the subject of Ali’s unusual behaviour (p. If the persecution doesn’t stop. So he prays five times a day (p.15-16) and throws his possessions out (p.5-7: “The law of Islam would rule the world.1-2).152 ll.147 ll.147 ll. That he has a very close relationship to Islam becomes clear on p. videotapes. is getting tidier (p.164 ll.148 ll.20) and goes to the mosque (p.the drugaddict”). new books and fashionable clothes beside the dustbin (p.12-14).” His Islamic religion lets him also become arrogant which becomes clear in his behaviour to Bettina.1-2) to work in prison (p.26).148 ll.150 l.11-12). he notices for example his son’s c omputer disks.153 l. he also misunderstands his son by interpreting his behaviour as being addicted to drugs (p. which makes him stick to the Koran. which makes him even think of going to war: ”My people have taken enough.20) Parvez does not recognize his son’s Islamic religion.11-15) and that Ali throws out his possessions like his TV. there will be jihad. 5.22-23) and when he is praying five times a day (p. He has givin up sports (p.147 ll. Of course Parvez notices that his son’s behaviour has changed. So Parvez does not only have problems to understand his son.12-13). He is going to give up his studies in accounting (p. His behaviour has changed.163 l. Furthermore he parts from his English girlfriend (p.152. the skin of the infidel world would burn off again and again: the Jews and Christers would be routed”. A reason for this mainly is Ali’s development to a Muslim. his videoplayer.160 ll. When she asks him something he only replies: “Who are you to ask me these questions?” (p. His behaviour results from his Islamic religion.147 ll.1011).147 l.153 l. Of course this behaviour results from Ali’s religion and there is a rule he has to stick to called Zakat (explained on page 3-4: “Aspects of Islam”) And also when Ali is growing a beard (p.Ali is the son of Parvez.3 Analysis of the relationship between Parvez and his son Ali It is obvious in the story that the relationship between Parvez and Ali is bad and that they do not understand each other.158 ll. which Parvez does not notice.6) and is outgrowing his teenage attitudes (p.
9-10: ”Each time Parvez took a drink.20-23: “Parvez stumbled and fell in the road. Especially when they are together in the restaurant the religious aspect why they do not understand each other becomes clear. Ali does not seem to notice it (p. By this I think Parvez wants to restore his old relationship with his son. which shows that their relationship has become worse and worse. Ali does not accept his father’s way of life (p.159 ll.160 l.154 ll.148 ll. is when Parvez and Bettina drive around with the taxi.154 ll. Here even Parvez describes their relationship as father and son.17-19).” I would interpret this situation as follows: Parvez is at his lowest point here. And Ali does not come to meet his father to give him the “helping hand” to come together again.154 ll. Even when Parvez is growing a beard to please his son. So Parvez feels that he has lost his son (p. So Parvez even cries (p.156 ll.154 ll.But although Parvez does not understand his son anymore he loves Ali anyway. full of disgust and censure.158 ll. But by Ali’s claim that he has an appointment and that he refuses to accompany his father (p. or made some kind of fastidious face”) so that he even hates his father for this (p. In my opinion it also shows that they have “lost” each other on p.14-17).161 ll. He works long hours for Ali (p. So Parvez has to insist on his opinion that no appointment could be more important than that of a son with his father (p. […] The boy didn’t even offer him his hand.13-15: “Ali had a horrible look.158 l. It was as if he hated his father”). the boy winced.21-22).159 ll.18-19: “the boy urged him to mend his ways”) because he does not stick to the Koran (p. But Ali does not seem to notice his father anymore.8-9) and yearns for the time when they were “brothers” (p. It is also obvious that Parvez suffers from his son’s intolerance towards him.14-15) because he desires “more than anything” (p. scraping his hands and ripping his trousers.20-21) it becomes clear that Ali does not like his father anymore.24-25: “Parvez told Bettina he was willing to pray.18: “Parvez eyes filled with tears”) and tries everything to please his son so that they will be “brothers” again (p. He does not know how to please his son in order to become “brothers” again. So Parvez decides to go out with his son (p.we were brothers! Where has he gone?”).17-18) to know why his son’s behaviour has changed (p. They meet Ali and .150 ll. which shows that they are really apart from each other.3-4: “We were not father and son . Another situation.156 ll.154 ll. if that was what the boy wanted”).16: “I feel as if I’ve lost my son”).
but this is not what Ali wants. Because of this generation conflict and their bad situation resulting from Ali’s religious behaviour the situation escalates. you can figure out that by this act Parvez and Ali have “lost” each other forever. and start a family” (p. And there are many more examples of these contrary attitudes: While Parvez thinks he has lived a decent life (p.148 ll.1819).4: “Parvez kicked him over.157 ll.156 l. For example Parvez works long hours for Ali to spend a lot of money on Ali’s education as an accountant (p.15-16) or “While I am here on earth I want to make the best of it. I think it is not only the religious aspect which makes Parvez and Ali understand each other so badly. Ali thinks that Parvez is “too implicated” in Western civilisation (p. while Bettina sits in the front (p.149 ll. Ali wants to give up his studies in accounting (p. Then he dragged the boy up by the front of his shirt and hit him. 6.163 ll.162 ll.157 ll. The boy’s face was bloody.13).13-14). The boy fell back. Parvez who feels that he has lost his son (p. beside Parvez.19).163 l. In addiction. Parvez hit him again. Conclusion Taking everything in consideration I can say that I am satisfied with my choice of this story.8-10).165 l. So Parvez wants his son to make “the best” of his life but this life is for sure not the life Ali wants. My hope the story might be interesting to read and help me to learn something new became true.1-2) and he is going to work in prison with poor Muslims (p.23).157 l.1-2).take him with them (p.”) Although the story ends at this point. On the one hand the term paper for sure helped me to practice my .163 ll. And I want you to as well” (p.160 ll. In this situation it even seems that Bettina has a closer relationship to Parvez than Ali has because he gets into the back seat (p.5-20). Or while Parvez thinks that they have to fit in in England (p. Parvez for example says: “Was it asking to much for Ali to get a good job.160 l. marry the right girl.160 ll.10-11). Ali does not think so because in his opinion his father has broken countless rules of the Koran (p.16) loses his temper and hits the boy (p. I would also interpret their situation as generation conflict because they often have different attitudes towards life.19-20). where passengers normally sit.
Although it is clear that most short stories have an open ending. I’m keen on getting to know what could happen next in the story. about Islam and about the author Hanif Kureishi. after the father has hit his son. But at the end I can say that the term paper was a positive experience for me and that I did my best for it. Could they find together again or have they “lost” each other forever? After reading the story several times. which perhaps is because Ali could be my age. And with every time I was reading the story I found more and more aspects to analyse so that I could have written five more pages. I could really identify with the situation of Parvez and Ali. which was also very interesting.English by writing in this language and by looking up lots of new English words. . On the other hand I have learned something about Britain’s history.
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