Treatment of Changez and His Character Development in The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

At first, Changez felt great about America as he thought he was living the American dream, while he was at a prestigious university of Princeton and after graduating from it he quickly got a job at a well-renowned company, Underwood Samson, in New York. Chazngez lived in New York in Manhattan where his feelings about coming here were like he was coming home as he seemed to embrace this city. Changez got more connected to America as time progressed Changez was amazed at the luxurious lifestyle and culture of the people of Manhattan and Changez felt happy to be in this high American society.

He noticed it when he returned to Pakistan and thought that his home has not changed a bit as he said he was seeing Pakistan with the eye of a foreigner this showed how he got so involved with America.

These feelings soon changed gradually after 9/11 as then America treated Changez differently, one of many harsh experiences he had was while returning from a business trip from the Philippines to America due to his middle eastern appearance he was solely separated from his team to get interrogated and his team then did not wait for him and left.

Further, where he heard rumors of racist attacks against Muslim men, and FBI raids on mosques, shops, and people’s houses this also maybe had a huge impact on Changez of his feeling being changed about America. Another of his experience after 9/11 was when he opted to keep a beard and was then subjected to verbal abuse by strangers and at his own Company Underwood Samson, his colleagues felt uneasy around him.

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In my opinion, it is not completely fair in being so negative about America as the reasons for him having such views was only after 9/11 and after such a horrific event you could feel for every American as they were angry and wanted to react quickly and were eager to know who was behind all of this. Changez, before 9/11 was living the American dream, had a great job, and was also in love with Erica so it is not completely fair to only be negative about America because that country gave him a good life and his views about America were also from a narrow perspective with that said Changez is correct in seeing America treating other countries badly as after 9/11 there was a rapid response by America that caused many innocent people to die in the countries where America took action against.

Changez’s relationship with Erica can be related to his feelings about America, one way which it can be related is both were somewhat confused or puzzled and both of them could not offset their feeling. For instance, Erica was in a state of trauma after losing his ex-Chris to cancer, she could not get out of it and no matter how hard Changez tried she was not able to continue with the relationship as she always had Chris in her mind. If we link this with feelings about America is after 9/11 Pakistan could not help wounded America and both were immersed in a sense of decay as the relationship reached a point where both abandoned one another is the same with Changez at first he was living the American dream but after 9/11it dramatically changed. Another way their relationship can be linked is both had trust problems for Changez was not able to put full trust in Erica in a way which his feelings of inferiority could be escaped and Erica she was not able to trust Changez to be the person she could embrace as a soul mate and this links with Changez feeling about America as Changez to was not able to put full trust in America that things can get better. If Changez and Erica were able to grow together as a loving couple, I think Changez’s life would have been different as Changez had feelings for Erica, and his political view on America and the vision that he had of America could have been different because even when Changez returned to America he still felt some level of sadness about her as he had a soft spot for Erica and this is one of the reasons why I think if Changez and Erica had grown as a loving couple Changez life could have been different as he would have not embraced his fundamentalism life in Pakistan as he did in this story.

I can think of numerous endings of this story one of which I think is that both of them were still confused as the American thought that he is a potential terrorist and while they were heading to the hotel the American thinks that the waiter is there to protect Changez and Changez feels that the maybe the American has a gun and is in Secret Service however none of which is true and in the end due to this confusion both of them attacked each other in the end. This is my alternate ending. The American in this story can be anyone but in reality, I think he is a normal person.

First, we have to understand the meaning of fundamentalism in the writer’s view, he sees a fundamentalist as anyone who looks at the world through a single and narrow point of view. Changez at the start of the story is fundamentalist in concerning the might of America’s financial institutions as he thinks that these people only see the world through a single view of gains and loss on the stock exchange but he later rejects this form of fundamentalism.

Changez becomes a reluctant fundamentalist with his view on how westerners treat him and the Muslim world. We can see from the start of the story how the American when they meet in a bazaar treats him and also later in the story when he is in America how he is treated and viewed by others the time he was in America many people viewed him as a religious fundamentalist even though he was not one. This uncertainty, combined with the disappointment about his American dream causes Changez to slowly change his outlook.

A different title if this book can be “The questionable identities” as throughout the story there are many parts where you might think something is going to happen between them as both are very suspicious of each other.

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Treatment of Changez and His Character Development in The Reluctant Fundamentalist. (2022, Jun 23). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/treatment-of-changez-and-his-character-development-in-the-reluctant-fundamentalist/

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