The Challenges of Multicultural London in Zadie Smith’s ”The Embassy of Cambodia"

Title The Challenges of Multicultural London in Zadie Smith’s ”The Embassy of Cambodia"
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsNayebpour, K
JournalInteractions, Ege Journal of British and American Studies
Start Page101
Date Published03/2018
Type of ArticleResearch
KeywordsAmbivalence, Equal Citizenship, Microaggressions, Multicultural London Society, Recognition, The Embassy of Cambodia, Zadie Smith

In most of her works, Zadie Smith presents the challenges of a multicultural society. In “The Embassy of Cambodia,” she portrays some of the problems of multicultural contemporary London. These problems are mainly shown through a female immigrant’s unequal, or second-class, citizenship in a multicultural land, her otherness or split identity, her indeterminate social status, as well as the natives’ ambivalent perspective toward her, microaggressions against her, and inability to recognize her as an equal member of society. As revealed by both the omniscient narrator and the collective first-person plural narrator, the immigrant Other and the natives are disconnected in a multicultural space. The central immigrant character, as my paper demonstrates, is pushed toward her own ethnicity and nationality as a result of the natives’ inherent race consciousness (Englishness) and the highly stratified social structure. Having been ignored, excluded, and repudiated, the immigrant is inevitably driven toward a radical form of religious and racial nationalism.


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