Date Theory

You will forgive me, I hope, if I do not have an essay in which to couch my point.

After our discussion today of history as trauma, I found myself looking at the table of contents of White Teeth. I was thinking about Professor Clayton’s query about what the two dates, one early and one late, by each name that heads a section meant. Now, bear with me, as I am only halfway through the book, but it appears to me that (if Samad’s trauma is Pande and Archie’s trauma is his presumed failure to kill Dr. Sick) the earlier dates tell us the date of the original trauma that troubles them and the later dates tell us when the trauma is repeated (that is, the year in which the current story is occurring).

Other theories? Am I way off?

-Anna Musun-Miller.

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~ by AM^2 on April 10, 2008.

One Response to “Date Theory”

  1. That’s really interesting, and it seems to make sense. The earlier date could represent the major past event that influences/impacts the specific character’s present life. Going along with that, for Irie, I suppose her important historical event for 1907 was the Kingston earthquake – during which her grandmother was born and Glenard (whom her school is named after) was killed. We need to finish the book to see why the last section has a reversal of dates and how that relates to the twins and Marcus.

    ~ B2

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