My Son the Fanatic Questions and Answers
by Hanif Kureishi

Start Your Free Trial

My Son The Fanatic Characterization

How would you characterize Parvez's, Ali's, and Bettina's perspectives on life in My Son the Fanatic?

Expert Answers info

Philip Arrington eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write1,400 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

The short story "My Son the Fanatic" by Hanif Kureishi tells of a clash between a father of Pakistani heritage who has adapted well to the culture of his new homeland in the West and his son who has chosen to live by traditional Islamic values. The story works well because of the nuanced characterizations, which present both the father's and the son's points of view sympathetically. The prostitute Bettina serves as a focal point at the climax of the story that illustrates the differences between the viewpoints of father and son.

Parvez, the father, has been driving a taxi in England for twenty years. He has adopted Western customs, such as the eating of pork and the consumption of alcoholic drinks, which, as his son points out, are contrary to guidelines set out in Islamic law. Parvez works hard to support his family and has typically Western aspirations for his son Ali. He is proud of Ali for excelling at sports and for getting good grades. He wants to see Ali "get a good job, now, marry...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1,187 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write11,282 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Madeleine Wells eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write3,286 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial