Post 9/11 Biases in The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Mohsin Hamid’s, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, follows the story of a high status Muslim American named Changez as he lives through the hardship of prejudices held on Muslims in the early 21st century. This passage comes in the wake 9/11 and illustrates the biases that most Americans held on Muslims post 9/11. The words that Mohsin Hamid uses in the first sentence set the tone for the passage and setup the story he later tells in the passage: “Yet even at Underwood Samson I could not entirely escape the growing importance of tribe.” Hamid uses the word “yet” to start the passage and discard what he says in the preceding two paragraphs. That he being Muslim, trumps the fact that he is a successful and hard worker at Underwood Samson. To conclude the sentence, Changez says that he is trying to “escape” the “growing importance of the tribe”. The use of escape as a verb in this part of the sentence illustrates how encompassing the hatred towards Muslims is- even those of high-status. The use of italics on tribe and the fact that Changez cannot escape it, gives tribe the meaning of the togetherness Americans felt post 9/11, and the exclusion the “tribe” had on Muslims. This first sentence puts a lot of heart and feeling on the reader, but sets the reader up for the coming story. After the introduction sentence, Changez jumps straight into telling a story about walking to his rental car in the parking lot of the cable company. When he is in the parking lot he runs into another man. To describe the way he was greeted, he uses the word approached, which gives the story a formal feel. When the man gets closer to Changez he, “pressed his face to mine” and says “unintelligible noises”, something similar to “akhala-malakhala” or “khalapal-khalapala”. Here there is a shift in tone in the story from an everday encounterment to Changez becoming more aware that this man might have a problem with him. Hamid shows that as...
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