Brick Lane

by

Monica Ali

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Mumtaz Character Analysis

Aunt to Nazneen and Hasina and sister to Hamid, Mumtaz is for the most part practical rather than superstitious. On-hand at Nazneen’s birth, she tries to convince Rupban to take her premature baby daughter to a city hospital, but to no avail. Unmarried and childless, she relies on Hamid for room and board. Later in life, she becomes a respected spiritual adviser in the village, relying on the predictions and advice of a jinni (spirit) she received from her dead father, and often speaking in tongues.

Mumtaz Quotes in Brick Lane

The Brick Lane quotes below are all either spoken by Mumtaz or refer to Mumtaz. 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:
Get the entire Brick Lane LitChart as a printable PDF.
Brick Lane PDF

Mumtaz Character Timeline in Brick Lane

The timeline below shows where the character Mumtaz appears in Brick Lane. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Displacement and Dissociation Theme Icon
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
...heart. Hamid soon brought home a new wife, but the woman only stayed a month. Mumtaz rarely acknowledged Hamid after that. She saved all her love for his daughters and for... (full context)
Chapter 6
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
This realization brings to mind the days just after Rupban’s death, when Mumtaz asked Nazneen to help her wash her mother’s dead body. Mumtaz wonders aloud about her... (full context)
Chapter 7
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
...also ate her chickens, which had stopped laying eggs. Hasina thinks often of Rupban and Mumtaz and life in Gouripur. She thinks of the second wife Hamid brought home and how... (full context)
Chapter 10
Displacement and Dissociation Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
Assimilation and Immigrant Life Theme Icon
...is slipping from her and only comes back in dreams. One night she dreams of Mumtaz and her mynah bird. Rupban tells Mumtaz she is foolish to waste her affection on... (full context)
Chapter 17
Displacement and Dissociation Theme Icon
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Assimilation and Immigrant Life Theme Icon
...is saying she doesn’t want to move to Bangladesh. Not even, Nazneen asks, to meet Mumtaz auntie? Bibi asks to hear a story of Mumtaz, so Nazneen tells them of Mumtaz’s... (full context)
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
The jinni told Mumtaz that the woman should line up all her children and tell her husband that if... (full context)
Chapter 1
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
...from the latrine, convinced a man is murdering his wife. Instead he finds his sister, Mumtaz, tending to Rupban, who is on her feet and in agony, one hand holding the... (full context)
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
...city, where she will have access to modern medicine, or trust her daughter to fate. Mumtaz wants to take the girl to the city, but Rupban chooses to put Nazneen in... (full context)
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
...gives him the bad news: the baby is a girl. Hamid shrugs and leaves again. Mumtaz comes in with food for Rupban, now convinced that Nazneen, who refuses to eat, is... (full context)
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
...Hamid tells his daughter, is a saint. She comes from a family of them. When Mumtaz asks Nazneen if she is glad she came back from the dead, she tells her... (full context)