East is East
The play is set in Salford in 1970, prior to the outburst of war between India and Pakistan over the Independence of East Pakistan. The Khans are an “Anglo-Pakistani” family of eight. George Khan’s attitude to his children is that he thinks that they should obey him. His children always know what Georges reaction is as Tariq does an impression of George by saying, “I am your farther you are my son, you do as I say bass”. He has a weak relationship with his children, as he does not listen to their opinion. Tariq says to Abdul “he (George) is never going to give a shit about how you feel or what you think”.
He turns evil when things do not go his way or if he cannot get out of a certain situation, by shouting out insults and by using violence as he thinks every one should obey him. He tries to show his sons the right way to live, by saying, “Son (Saleem), you not understand because you don’t listen to me. I show you how a good way to live. You no English, English people no accepting you. In Islam, everyone equal see, no black man, or white man. Only Muslim, it special community” He wants he children brought up in a traditional Muslim way but the children do not agree.
This is because of his treatment of them, in their diverse racial culture influences. George’s role as a husband is to bring up his family in a Muslim tradition. He respects his wife Ella. When George gets angry with Ella, she end up getting hurt as George is very violent, and George refers to his wife in Pakistan to teach Ella Islam is better. Ella starts having a go at George by saying “I thought you were all supposed to be brothers, isn’t that what Islam teaches you? ” She is referring to all Muslims being one community and George doesn’t agree his reply is ” I your bloody husband, you supposed to be Muslim.
You should agree with me” George has put himself in the right claiming Ella to be a Muslim when she clearly isn’t. George has rejected his beliefs in younger life though, like Tariq. This argument goes on and Ella and George arguing about the war. George is getting madder and madder then Ella goes to far and comes out with a bad comment. “I’ll tell you why I don’t like your frigging family, ’cause they are a bunch of money grabbing bastards, they only come round here when they want money, or when money wants sending to Pakistan, to buy more land we’re not going to live on.
And do you think any of my kids are going to get a look in, if owt happened to you? ” George then results in violence and grabs Ella violently by her hair and pulls her to the ground. He kicks and beats here. George comes back by saying “you baster bitch! You call me pig, you pucker, you talk to me like this again I bloody kill you bitch, and burn all your baster family when ypu sleep” this is not a nice thought and he is trying to scare Ella, and is showing her the consequences if she does not follow Georges way of living. George believes in the Muslim faith, he wants his children to be accepted into the Muslim community.
He believes Pakistan is better than England but he claims he came over to England to start his new life. As Sajit had not been circumcised George found this a disgrace. He says, “you cannot have this thing (foreskin) puther, it no belong to you, not OUR religion see, is very dirty. No worry about it I buy you nice watch” George forces Sajit to be circumcised even though he doesn’t want to. He then says he will by Sajit a watch that really is not a good deal. He tells Ella Sajit will go to hell if he doesn’t get circumcised “what you talking about? You know nothing about my religion, you no bloody care your children have no God.
Your son no Muslim with this thing (foreskin), we he die he go straight to hell” again he is a strict Muslim and it shows he knows a lot about his religion. But the irony is that this is George. It shows that Ellas basic mistake resulted in their childs suffering in his later life. He wants Sajit to become a good Muslim and get circumcised like most Muslims. Tariq’s hair is too long for George’s liking so George insults him by saying “you look like bloody pansey” proberly quite upsetting Tariq. This shows us that George is an evil man and a failure to his family.
In order to succeed he needs to listen to his children and let them do what they want and let them choose there own religion and other aspects in life. The problem with George’s values are, his children do not see themselves as good Muslims, as they have not lived in Pakistan, they are not up do date with the Muslim faith. The children are not sure what race they are. They have an argument saying if they were Anglo-Indian, Eurasian, English or Pakistani. There is no right answer so Maneer just ends the argument with “no one round here thinks we’re English we’re the Paki family who run the chippy. ” This shows they will always be labeled.
Racial tolerance and integration is needed, George is certainly racist, like Mr Moorhouse. It is important they reject his values, as the children would be free and marry who they want, and they could live their own lives. They could choose what they wanted to be when they grow up, as George wanted Saleem to be an engineer but it is clear he wanted to do something with art. It would be more convenient if the children made their own decisions. Abdul says “Things will change” Implying there is going to be a better life for the Khan’s. It also suggests that the rest of the children will have the freedom to have the choice like Maneer or Tariq.
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