The Buddha of Suburbia

by

Hanif Kureishi

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Auntie Jean Character Analysis

Auntie Jean is Mum's sister and Ted's husband. She and Ted live in a rich suburb and Karim loathes both Jean herself and having to visit her. Jean feels as though it's her responsibility to steer Haroon away from his relationship with Eva and Ted away from his involvement in Eva's renovation business, though she's unsuccessful in doing either. She takes in Mum and Allie after Haroon and Mum divorce.
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Auntie Jean Character Timeline in The Buddha of Suburbia

The timeline below shows where the character Auntie Jean appears in The Buddha of Suburbia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 2
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
...to organize the room, and Karim thinks Dad looks confident. Unexpectedly, Uncle Ted and Auntie Jean walk in. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Karim describes Ted and Jean as normal, unhappy alcoholics. They own a central heating business and call Dad Harry instead... (full context)
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Karim tries to work out why Ted and Jean are here tonight. He reasons that when Mum heard that Dad was appearing again, she... (full context)
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
...explains that Dad and Ted actually like each other. Ted often confides in Dad about Jean's drinking or her affairs with younger men, and while Dad wisely counsels Ted, he puts... (full context)
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
...silent the entire time, but he finally begins hissing and speaking. Ted is engrossed while Jean looks angrily on, and Karim smiles and wanders away. He wanders through the house, feeling... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
...forces himself to return to the living room and watches the end of Dad's appearance. Jean greets Karim curtly, and together they watch Dad and Eva talk to attendees. Karim and... (full context)
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...home, Mum is waiting for them in the hall. She's on the phone, presumably with Jean. Before Karim can escape to his room, Mum shoves the phone at him. Jean instructs... (full context)
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
The next day, Karim rides his bike in the direction of Ted and Jean's house. He decides to stop and see Helen first, as she lives nearby. He rings... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
When Karim finally arrives at Ted and Jean's house, he's in a horrible mood. Jean leads Karim into the living room and pushes... (full context)
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
Jean walks Ted into the room. As Jean begins to try to start the conversation, Karim... (full context)
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Jean fixes her stare on Karim and begins to say that she and Ted never had... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Ted and Dad good-naturedly insult Karim's uselessness. Ted admits that Jean sent him to check on the Buddhism thing. Karim mentions to the reader that Ted... (full context)
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Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
...truly breaks down when Dad points out that the heating business is in shambles and Jean isn't happy in their marriage. Ted walks out of the bedroom with the record player,... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...walks outside. He wanders around for a while before using a payphone to call Auntie Jean. He tells her only that Dad has decided to live with Eva. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...and Dad are in the bedroom and Allie is banging on their door. Ted and Jean arrive immediately. Jean packs for Mum and Karim packs for Allie, and then Ted and... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
Karim calls Mum every day and finally decides to visit her. As he walks to Jean and Ted's house, Karim sees Hairy Back and the Great Dane. Karim crosses the street... (full context)
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
Mum has spent all her time in bed since she moved in with Jean, but Ted has completely changed after talking with Dad. While he once boasted that he... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8
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Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
...her house. Ted jumped at the opportunity to be close to Dad and Eva, though Jean is incensed about it. She agreed to let Ted work for Eva on the condition... (full context)
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
Finally, Ted finishes the house. Karim often wonders what Ted tells Jean at the end of each night, and wonders how Ted talks about all the fun... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
Karim invites Mum, Ted, and Jean to a preview of The Jungle Book, and Mum weeps with pride. They go dancing... (full context)
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
...from Terry's table. As he rambles Karim realizes he neglected Mum by leaving her at Jean's, and Pyke offers Karim a part in his next production. Pyke cannot answer any questions... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 18
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Ted insists he's not that late and admits that Jean fell down the stairs. He addresses the woman and insists that life goes downhill and... (full context)