Brick Lane


Monica Ali

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Banesa Character Analysis

The midwife to Gouripur, she claims to be 120 years old at the time of Nazneen’s birth. Upon seeing infant Nazneen in the arms of Rupban, she declares the baby dead. Then, when Nazneen begins to kick and scream, she tells Rupban that God has called her daughter back to the earth, but she doesn’t give such news happily. Nearly starving, she had eyed Nazneen’s limp body with something very like hunger.

Banesa Quotes in Brick Lane

The Brick Lane quotes below are all either spoken by Banesa or refer to Banesa. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Displacement and Dissociation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Brick Lane published in 2003.
Chapter 1 Quotes

“No,” she said, “we must not stand in the way of Fate. Whatever happens, I accept it. And my child must not waste any energy fighting against Fate. That way, she will be stronger.”

Related Characters: Rupban (speaker), Nazneen, Mumtaz, Banesa
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
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Brick Lane PDF

Banesa Character Timeline in Brick Lane

The timeline below shows where the character Banesa appears in Brick Lane. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
...agony, one hand holding the chicken, the other around Mumtaz’s shoulder. Mumtaz sends Hamid for Banesa, the village midwife. (full context)
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
Banesa, who claims to be 120 years old and whose career as midwife includes only seven... (full context)
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
Meanwhile, the entire village comes to visit the baby. Banesa suggests that Rupban try finding a goat for Nazneen to suckle. Rupban waits, helpless, wishing... (full context)
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
Hasina, Rubpan and Hamid’s second child, is born three days after Banesa’s death. She is beautiful and stubborn. She refuses to listen to her parents, and, at... (full context)