The Buddha of Suburbia

by

Hanif Kureishi

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Marlene Character Analysis

Marlene is Matthew Pyke's wife. She and Pyke are very open and adventurous sexually, and they regularly participate in group sex events all over the world. When she expresses interest in having sex with Karim, Pyke invites Karim and Eleanor to their home. Though Karim does have sex with Marlene, he finds her brash, annoying, and unattractive and he sees that Pyke feels the same way about his wife.

Marlene Quotes in The Buddha of Suburbia

The The Buddha of Suburbia quotes below are all either spoken by Marlene or refer to Marlene. 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:
Coming of Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Buddha of Suburbia published in 1991.
Part 2, Chapter 12 Quotes

With their poking into life's odd corners, Pyke and Marlene seemed to me to be more like intrepid journalists than swimmers in the sensual. Their desire to snuggle up to real life betrayed a basic separation from it. And their obsession with how the world worked just seemed another form of self-obsession.

Related Characters: Karim (speaker), Matthew Pyke, Marlene
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:
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Marlene Character Timeline in The Buddha of Suburbia

The timeline below shows where the character Marlene appears in The Buddha of Suburbia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 12
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
...many different jobs as possible. He's especially interested in women in office and his wife, Marlene, joins him in these endeavors. Karim finds this very exciting, though he thinks Pyke's desire... (full context)
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
One day, Pyke generously tells Karim that he has a present for Karim: Marlene wants to have sex with him. Karim isn't flattered and doesn't want to seem ungrateful,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 13
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
...Karim and Eleanor in, seats them in the living room, and explains that Pyke and Marlene are "dressing." Eleanor wonders why Pyke invited them over and haughtily tells Karim that they... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
...have underestimated Pyke's wealth, as the furnishings are extremely expensive. Eleanor returns as Pyke and Marlene make their way down the stairs. Karim thinks that Marlene is undeniably sexual, but definitely... (full context)
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
...goes to. The boy, as Terry predicted, attends a very prestigious school. Karim notices that Marlene and Pyke look bored to death. (full context)
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
...stands and opens the doors to the backyard. Eleanor stands and follows him out, leaving Marlene inside with Karim. Marlene gets herself another drink and comes to sit beside Karim. He... (full context)
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
Karim and Marlene sit for a while, and then Marlene asks Karim for a kiss. He panics, but... (full context)
Family, Love, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Marlene walks around Pyke and Eleanor, exclaiming about what a beautiful couple they are. Pyke snaps... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 16
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
...to steal for Terry and the Party, but he doesn't know what anything is worth. Marlene comes in, dressed for painting, and unenthusiastically asks Karim for a kiss. She makes him... (full context)
Hierarchy and Class Theme Icon
Racism, Success, and Identity Theme Icon
Social and Political Discontent Theme Icon
Karim asks Pyke if they can deal with his matter now, and Marlene insults Pyke as she leaves the room. Karim explains to Pyke that he's working for... (full context)