Archie and Clara’s marriage mainly revolves around on Archie earnestly providing and securing his family, and Clara comforting herself that Archie is a good man. Their complacency left their daughter, Irie, struggling with her racial identity.
"You can't fight against it. I wish I had. I wish I'd given up early and hedged my bets, as it were. Because they're your father's teeth, you see, wisdom teeth are passed down by the father, I'm certain of it. So you must be big enough for them. God knows, I wasn't big enough for mine."
Ensuing, Smith used the term root canal to examine the past, which gave the story more understanding from where these characters are coming from and why they are struggling so much. Further, it helped me understand that although this procedure saves the root, it doesn't necessarily follow that it saved the teeth as a whole.
“In the end, your past is not my past and your truth is not my truth and your solution - is not my solution.”
Of course, Zadie Smith wishes to impress her readers with such themes, language, and wit. And I am indeed impressed. For those who recommended it to me, I thank you all. White Teeth is one interesting read, made even more fun because I buddy-read it with Monique, Lester, NYKen, and Angus.