by Zadie Smith
Analysis: Narrator Point of View
Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?
Third Person (Omniscient)
The narrator in White Teeth is nameless, but that doesn't stop this narrator from knowing absolutely everything about absolutely everyone. And with all that dirt on the Iqbals and the Joneses, the narrator can't help but pass some judgment here and there. We understand.
Since this novel jumps around chronologically, the narrator also points out what's important—what we should pay attention to, and what we should remember.
Plus, the narrator moves back and forth between seriousness and playfulness. And when the narrator is having a riot of a time telling the story, we can't help but agree; this story is super fun. But it's also really complicated.
Think about it, Shmoopsters; part of this novel's very charm is that it can time-travel like nobody's business, and it can get inside Archie Jones's old, English-born head or Hortense Bowden's older, Jamaican-born head at will.
There are a lot of characters trying to figure a lot of things out in White Teeth, which makes us really thankful for a narrator who knows what's up.