The Buddha of Suburbia Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How is Karim introduced to readers?

Karim is introduced to readers as 17 years old, bisexual, and of mixed race. His appearance marks him as foreign, but his upbringing is very English. Karim is restless and trying to figure out who he is.

2. What attitude of racism is foreshadowed in Part One, Chapter One?

During the get-together at Eva's house, the white guests make blatantly racist comments about Haroon, the speaker. Ironically, however, the guests are still perfectly willing to follow Haroon's lead in the guided yoga and listen to his thoughts on philosophy. Charlie is particularly wiling to listen to Haroon's thoughts, yet still ridicules his appearance. It seems that this contradictory atitude toward differences in race will be a continuing motif throughout the novel.

3. How is the theme of class differences introduced in Part One, Chapter One?

The vast differences in class is introduced at Eva's party; Karim is very aware that Eva's house is bigger than his and that their family is much better off. The descriptions of two settings - the city of London and the suburbs are also presented in sharp contrast of one another, with the city being herald as a Promised Land.

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