My son the fanatic | Analytical Essay

The genre of “My Son the Fanatic” is a short story written by Hanif Kureishi. It is a fairly long short story, containing roughly about 4,500 words.

The story starts in media res, which means that it starts in the middle of a plot. The title “My Son the Fanatic” is not a simple title, because it does not have a clear message, and it can be interpreted in different ways depending on the reader.

The word fanatic means that someone has extreme political or religious beliefs or ideas and is often hostile towards others.

The word fanatic only gets mentioned once in the entire text, and that is towards the end in line 392, despite the word is a part of the title. The title of the story does not really give the reader an indication of what the storyline will be about except, that it is about a fanatic son.

The theme of the short story is cultural clash. On the one side, Parvez tries to embrace the customs and opportunities that England has to offer. In the text it says that Parvez eats Pork and drinks alcohol which is wrong from the perspective of both Ali and the Koran (l. 209-211).

On the other side, there is Ali, who starts to reject the western values by throwing out his belongings and breaking up with his English girlfriend. Instead he begins to embrace the Islamic approach to the real way of living instead of integrating.

And doing so, he despises his father which can be seen in these lines: “And now the boy was throwing his possessions out!” (l. 25) and: “Don't you know it's wrong to drink alcohol?” (l. 177). Ali sees the western world as a bunch of hypocrites, adulterers, homosexual, drug takers and prostitutes, or a bunch of sinners (l. 230).

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