Essay My Son the Fanatic

697 Words 3 Pages
"My Son the Fanatic" is a short story by Hanif Kureishi about a teenage boy, Ali and his father, Parvez who are immigrants of Pakistan now living in England. The underlying theme is the struggle they face in a new society. There is a sharp contrast in the way Parvez and his son Ali deal with the sense of belonging and being a part of society. With all the compromises and losses Parvez suffers in his migration; he appears to take them as a part of his experience and adventure of life; to him it seems to be worth the price. On the other hand, his son Ali seems to have considerable anger and is not happy with his new lifestyle. Ali focuses his thoughts on the Koran, a Muslim form of belief that denies him the pleasure of society in which he …show more content…
Ali is static because he never changes who he is. He still lives his life by the Koran . Ali tries to get through to his father by stressing he is too concerned with western civilization. Ali expresses his disappointment in his father when he tells him he had not been living a good life. On another occasion Ali proves to his father that he is more wrapped up in his own life to even pay any attention to his son when he finds him on the road just after visiting a mosque. Parvez is so concerned he does not acknowledge his own behavior when he is giving Bettina, a prostitute and a close friend for over 3 years, a ride at the time. Ali notices her hand around his father when she is telling him how much his father loves him. Infuriated, Ali states: "You say he loves me... Then why is he letting a woman like you touch him like that?"(699). The incident in the cab leads up to the central conflict that is man versus society. Parvez adjusts his lifestyle based on his personal new interests. Parvez is to busy with his new job and his new life to make any effort in understanding Ali. Because of this, his relationship with Ali slowly falls apart. This is a key example of how people can ignore their values when presented with something more appealing. He creates a communication barrier with his son because of his actions. The pressures of society have built up in his father so much that he has lost control of himself when he attacks his own son.

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