One of the main themes of Zadie Smith’s novella The Embassy of Cambodia is multiculturalism. The novella presents an image of the diverse London society of our times, departing from the ideal of coexistence and tolerance between cultures and focusing instead on negative aspects such as racism and exclusion.
The setting is particularly important in presenting this theme, as the borough of Willesden initially appears to be a place where multiple cultures live together harmoniously:
There is a mansion called GARYLAND, with something else in Arabic engraved below GARYLAND, and both the English and the Arabic text are inlaid in pink-and-green marble pillars that bookend a gigantic fence […]
There is a C...