Family is a huge priority in The Hundred-Foot Journey, and Hassan places himself within the context of his family legacy from the very first page when he introduces his own story with the story of his grandfather's "great hunger" (1.3). This familial context stays strong through to the last page, when Hassan says that the success of earning his third star fulfills "the hungry space of generations ago" (20.80). In short, it's really important to Hassan that he is part of a larger picture, which makes him who he is.
The Haji family is a unit throughout the story, even when Hassan strikes out on his own. Papa's words—"'Remember sweet boy, you are a Haji. Always remember. A Haji'" (11.154)—stay with him through every important moment of his life. The closeness and connection of family is a gift that Hassan never lets go, and it helps guide him every step of the way.
Questions About Family
Do you think Hassan ever strays away from his family, or does he remain as close to them throughout the book?
How does family impact Hassan's career?
Do you think that his family is the main reason for Hassan's fascination with food? Why or why not?
Do you think that the Haji family dynamic would have stayed the same if they had remained in India?
Chew on This
At its core, this book is more about family than food.
Family's great and all, but Hassan has to step away from the Haji unit in order to come into his own.