Brick Lane

by

Monica Ali

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The Tattoo Woman Character Analysis

A white neighbor of Nazneen’s in Tower Hamlets in London, she spends her days drinking and throwing her beer cans straight out the window. To Nazneen, the woman has the same air of detachment as the holy men who walked through Muslim villages back home, completely indifferent to the weather and to unkind treatment. Later, though, while in the hospital waiting for Raqib to recover from his deadly fever, Nazneen finds out that the woman has been taken to an institution. She had been sitting in her own filth.
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The Tattoo Woman Character Timeline in Brick Lane

The timeline below shows where the character The Tattoo Woman 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
...the woman died smiling, happy for once to defy convention and her family’s expectations. Meanwhile, the tattoo lady is still in her kitchen, drinking. (full context)
Chapter 3
Displacement and Dissociation Theme Icon
Assimilation and Immigrant Life Theme Icon
...and Nazneen hands Chanu his lunch, watches him head off to work, and, waving at the tattoo lady across the way, leaves her apartment. On this day, she sees the estate with clear... (full context)
Chapter 4
Displacement and Dissociation Theme Icon
Assimilation and Immigrant Life Theme Icon
...are now dull like everything else. She sees Razia’s children playing behind a shade and the tattoo woman at her table, drinking. Nazneen wonders what the woman could be waiting for. (full context)
Chapter 6
Displacement and Dissociation Theme Icon
Cultural and Religious Sexism Theme Icon
...saying she needs to tend to her children. Nazneen asks her to say “salaam” to the tattoo woman for her, but Razia says she can’t: the woman has been taken to an institution.... (full context)
Chapter 1
Displacement and Dissociation Theme Icon
Luck, Class, and Fate Theme Icon
Assimilation and Immigrant Life Theme Icon
...housework and observing her neighbors, one of whom is a woman covered head-to-toe in tattoos. The tattoo woman spends her days drinking at her kitchen table and throwing her beer cans out the... (full context)