Study Guide

White Teeth Chapter 19

By Zadie Smith

Chapter 19

The Final Space

  • It's December 31, 1992, and people are in the streets celebrating the New Year. Gotta watch that ball drop in Times Square, you know.
  • Joshua is riding around London in a van marked Kensal Rise Family Services Unit with the members of FATE.
  • Crispin is going on about how horrible Marcus is, and Josh is trying to stay calm, which is paying off because Joely is impressed with his calmness.
  • While smoking a joint, he realizes that he is about to do something so huge to his father. The consequences are kind of unimaginable, dude. (Sorry, because he's smoking a joint, we imagine he sounds sort of like Bill and Ted from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.)
  • Joshua comes to the realization that there's nothing you can do to control the world; meanwhile, Marcus believes the exact opposite. We could use some tense music here.
  • At this moment—so many things are happening—Millat and his KEVIN brothers are working their way through London to the FutureMouse event. Millat is also stoned.
  • Ryan Topps drives the ladies of Lambeth Kingdom Hall to the press conference. They do not have tickets but they do have songbooks, instruments, banners, and Watchtower leaflets. The group plans to protest outside in the cold. Everyone has a plan.
  • While boarding the 98 bus, Archie thinks that bus tickets are so much different than they used to be. Leave it to Archie to change the subject to something so very everyday.
  • Neena insisted that the Iqbals and the Joneses go to the press conference because Magid has been so involved, and they all fought her. Finally, Alsana forced the issue.
  • On the bus, everyone is protesting and sitting as far apart as possible, but they manage to get in a screaming match anyway. Impressive.
  • The narrator tells us, just as Irie wraps up her arguing, that Irie is eight weeks pregnant. She knows that, but she doesn't know the identity of the father. And she'll probably never know the identity of the father. There is no biological test that can tell her which Iqbal brother is the father of her child because both men have the same DNA. Somebody call Montel Williams.
  • Irie decides that tonight, she will tell one of them and not the other. But which brother should she tell?