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Tea helps us see that Larbi’s love for Morocco tends to shift, due to some personal desire to escape if not personally then vicariously.
Lalami’s emphasis of the social and emotional connection between the characters and tea is clearly revealed.
The role it plays shifts between what I will term, the anesthetic, the apathetic and the amalgamator.
She is aware of the cultural dynamic, the environments in which tea is consumed change as often as the characters.
The anesthetic is first introduced in Larbi’s office environment (Lalami 20).
Her mother’s second statement isn’t made until after she lights the tea kettle!
After taking her mother’s advice things temporarily get better for Halima.Its use here suggests a daily habit that alludes to his personality, but more keenly points to his state of mind at the time.Larbi takes this drink before delving into his daily tasks.Lalami writes…”but for now he took his time reading the paper and sipping his tea”…Choosing to momentarily partake of a Moroccan tradition in favor of zealously attacking his work can be viewed as a character trait.Salma remains fairly aloof, primarily speaking at emotionally charged moments.The amalgamator is rebuffed by Larbi, when following a heated debate, he leaves the dinner table.The Moroccan characters in book overlook its centrality as they overlook their roles in their varying story outcomes.Lalami, like the famed mint tea, draws the reader into a world that is rich with turmoil and fragrant with hope.This makes the reader aware of an adiaphoric bent in Salma.This will reveal itself further as Larbi and Salma attempt to deal with their daughter.