by Zadie Smith
Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis
Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.
Plot Type : None
We love Booker's Seven Basic Plots. We really do. So we sat down with White Teeth and tried and tried and tried to squeeze this fatty book into one of those plot types. But White Teeth was not having it.
This novel ducks and weaves to avoid categorization in the same way that the characters in the novel do. Just remember to keep yourself open to all sorts of possibilities as you read it. And be ready to grapple with understanding, and reunderstanding, the plotline, over and over again. It's a wild ride. But it's a worthwhile one, Shmoopers.
We don't mean to suggest that there isn't a plot. There's a totally awesome plot. Did you read the chapter-by-chapter summaries? Yes, White Teeth is kind of all over the place, but that's just because it's written to mirror the complexities of modern life. Pretty clever, huh?