My Son The Fanatic Thesis Statement

The paper discusses the message that is being portrayed to the reader in this short story. Kureishi has very well brought into life the fatherly care that Pervez shows regarding his son; Ali’s recognition of individuality; and, the importance of affection and guidance given by friends in this society. Kureishi has been keenly studying the values of second generation immigrants who were embracing Islam and was surprised at how young people could turn to strict code of religious life while living in a secular country like England. This inspired him to create the character of Ali who chose a path of his own despite his father’s opposition. He accepted being considered a fanatic, a moron, someone who was going astray. This inspires the reader to think about individuality and religion and the connection between the two. The extent to which one may follow religion is solely one’s own choice independent of the wishes of others. “But while I am here on earth I want to make the best of it”, Ali says. Many people think that family values and standards should be so strict that a child may not be able to think otherwise or make his own decisions. Authoritarian parents never let the child choose for himself. The child becomes an under-confident person. Pervez, however, seems like an authoritative parent who is suspicious of his son’s activities but observes silently and at times tries to argue with him giving him logics. This is another thing that Ali had already chosen his path once and for all. He

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is not even shy to speak the truth. “You are too implicated in Western civilization”, is what he tells his father, pointing out his mistakes. Also, the one who is determined enough is not frightened by any brutality. “There was no fear in his eyes”, Kureishi writes in the end of the story. The power of art depends on the three pillars of public speaking as defined by Aristotle- ethos, pathos and logos. Ethos helped Hanif to gain his audience because he was already profound in writing great pieces of

...at the same time as embracing others’. In his short story “MySon the Fanatic”, Hanif Kureishi treats the drawbacks of immigrating while bringing it together with more universal matters such as growing up. We are introduced to the Pakistani protagonist Parvez, who once migrated from his native country. He now lives in England with his wife and their son, Ali, who hasn’t been brought up very religiously in spite of them being Muslims. This is presumably related to some unpleasant happenings that Parvez has experienced while learning the Koran during his childhood, and since that, he has “avoided all religions”. Therefore, Parvez and his son behave, more or less, like ordinary Englishmen – nonetheless when looking on the surface. Ali has a girlfriend, plays videogames and watches TV. Parvez drinks alcohol, and his best friend is a prostitute named Bettina. But all of the sudden, Ali changes radically; he becomes rude, grows a beard, breaks up with his English girlfriend, throws out his expensive belongings, and, what’s worse, he grows to be his own father’s antagonist by disrespecting, scaring and ignoring him. At first glance, the revolt of Ali seems like typical behavior for an ordinary teenager, who is growing into an adult, wanting to break loose from his parents and become an independent individual. But as the story proceeds, we learn that there is more to it. Parvez doesn’t understand the...

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