Cultural/Political Response: Brick Lane

Cultural/Political Response

            Brick Lane addresses the political conditions it is set in by weaving the cultural and political effects of 9/11 into Ali’s characters’ actions. Chanu, the avid reader, is fascinated by the newspaper report and points out a theory that immigration is used as a political tactic. This issue reflects current political situations, such as theorists who speculate similar theories regarding President Obama’s actions in response to immigration issues. Chanu points out this theory neglects the issue of unifying minorities, which would still be an issue today. The character of Karim represents the voice of peaceful, intelligent Bengali Muslims. Karim represents the immediate voice of criticism, a defendant who questions and analyzes the 9/11 attack and works to correct the spreading misconceptions and prejudices. These prejudices had a profound effect on American culture, such as the current airport security screenings. Ali’s description of racism from 9/11, “pinch of New York dust” blown “across the ocean”, is an excellent description of 9/11’s extending political and cultural effects.

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