Feminist reading of Zadie Smith's novels through the critical framework of interlocking oppressions

Thumbnail Image
Ledford, Kathryn Fair
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
After researching Zadie Smith and her three noted works, White Teeth, Autograph Man, and On Beauty, it appears many of the critics have missed a substantial area of research. They have either looked at Smith as the author or they have only examined her male characters' almost exclusively within White Teeth. When the critics only focus on the male characters, then they miss the women's interesting and powerful journeys of fashioning a healthy self. The women of color's experience with their environment, with other women, and with themselves define the feminist perspective embedded behind Smith's works. This analysis contests that women are, in fact, the most crucial to study; a critical lens of interlocking prejudices allows Smith's female characters to come to the forefront of the literary analysis. Throughout all three of Smith's novels, she is able to give a voice to the women who seem to only be in the shadows; the women are able to become independent of the men who dominate the novels and be heard. Their experiences with interlocking oppressions show how they continue to construct their own social identities within a multicultural environment.
Smith, Zadie -- Criticism and interpretation; Women's studies; Minorities in literature