Study Guide

The Hundred-Foot Journey Contrasting Regions: West vs. East

By Richard C. Morais

Contrasting Regions: West vs. East

Born in India and from an Indian family, Hassan finds himself navigating European culture for much of his adult life in The Hundred-Foot Journey. This straddling of two very different cultures—we're talking food, religion, and more—is something Hassan struggles to strike the right balance with throughout the story. Whereas Hassan's father and sisters stick to their Indian ways of life throughout the novel, Hassan adapts much more of the European ways. It isn't until he adopts what he learns from both worlds and creates a synthesis between them, though, that Hassan really stands tall.

Questions About Contrasting Regions: West vs. East

  1. By the end of the book, does Hassan seem to become more French than Indian? Do you think there are aspects that he takes of both cultures? Which aspects and why?
  2. Hassan's sister Mehtab moves with him to Paris and helps him run his business. How does she assimilate herself into French life compared to him?
  3. How do the two cultures influence Hassan's career? 
  4. Hassan talks about Lumière being the turning point between his past and his future. How do the two cultures form his becoming an adult in Lumière?

Chew on This

Food is a metaphor in this book for the difficulty of being out of your element culturally.

Food is a metaphor in this book for the fact that we are all comprised of a variety of cultural ingredients.