In her novel, White Teeth, Zadie Smith argues against fate and the appearance of randomness that the concept of predestination brings along with it.
Her counter-argument is the idea of self-determination and its consequences.
There is no divine entity turning the coin one way or the other. Sick then decided to make the decision, the moral decision that would save his life and turn the events of Archie’s future into turmoil.
The future events that happened in Archie’s life could have been very different.
Life seems random because it cannot be predicted, but the results are always influenced by the decisions people make.
Mickey’s family “might not have kids wiv skin like the surface of the fucking moon,” but it won’t change the kind of people they become.Smith illustrates how life is not random at all through such devices as Archie’s decision-making process, Marcus’s Future Mouse, and two identical twins that are nothing alike.The outcome of life’s seemingly random things is and will always come from self-determination.It is almost ironic that Magid joined in on the Future Mouse project, living first-hand the result of the project years before the theory could possibly be disproved.He was the counter-argument of the project himself, because he and Millat were the same genetically, yet they completely contrasted each other in their way of life.(434) It won’t change any other outcome in their life, because, ultimately, when you get down to it, life isn’t fated to be one way or the other, it is all determined through the actions of people.Magid and Millat, living the idea of the perfect race (the race of the same people, the same genetic code), shaped very different futures. It was through the choice of Samad, sending one son away and keeping the other, that the twins took different paths.What he does not understand is that fate isn’t determining his moral decisions for him.Fate (if there is such a thing, which the novel argues against) is standing back and letting him live with the consequences of his own indecisiveness.She takes a stand against fatalism by showing that the appearance of randomness is only the results of human beings themselves.Archie’s decision-making process is the antithesis of self-determination. He is the true fatalist of the story, because he decides to let fate make his decisions for him.