Brick Lane

by

Monica Ali

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Another factory friend of Hasina’s, she is stubbornly independent. She has refused every single boy her parents have tried to marry her off to, and she objects to the dowry system, wondering why women should always be considered burdens on their families. She makes her own money; therefore, she says, she is the dowry. At first, Hasina thinks Shahnaz is a good friend. She is always advising Hasina about cosmetics and clothing. As time passes, though, Hasina sees that Shahnaz is two-faced and is jealously spreading salacious rumors about her behind her back.

Shahnaz Quotes in Brick Lane

The Brick Lane quotes below are all either spoken by Shahnaz or refer to Shahnaz. 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 7 Quotes

“Why should we give dowry? I am not a burden. I make money. I am the dowry.”

Related Characters: Shahnaz (speaker), Hasina
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Brick Lane LitChart as a printable PDF.
Brick Lane PDF

Shahnaz Character Timeline in Brick Lane

The timeline below shows where the character Shahnaz appears in Brick Lane. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
...of Hasina’s friends at the factory, says if trees can have spirits, why can’t machines? Shahnaz, another factory friend, thinks Aleya is a country bumpkin for saying such things, but she... (full context)
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
...and cloth around, but she is a sewing woman now, and she and her friends—Aleya, Shahnaz, and Renu—are as close as sisters. They work in the same row and eat lunch... (full context)
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
...the wrong way. Also, someone told the factory owners that she was eating betel nut. Shahnaz swears it wasn’t her. Then she predicts Renu will end up breaking bricks. She’s not... (full context)
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
...kind man, though unattractive. Hasina is only dry when she’s at the garment factory, where Shahnaz is worried that Abdul is paying Hasina too much attention. At one time, Abdul courted... (full context)
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
...girls, assumed the material came from another man and has been beating her ever since. Shahnaz says that the rumors are damaging all of their chances of making a good marriage.... (full context)
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
Hasina speaks to Shahnaz about her shunning and Shahnaz tells her that everyone knows about Hasina and the landlord.... (full context)
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
Hasina’s latest letter is dated January 1991. She writes of talking to Shahnaz, who says she is disappointed in her. Out of friendship she’d warned Hasina about Abdul,... (full context)
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
...visit the garment factory, hoping to talk to her old friends. She catches glimpses of Shahnaz, who is now wearing an abundance of cosmetics. A shanty town has formed around the... (full context)