The Reluctant Fundamentalist Impressions

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19 April 2011

The Reluctant Fundamentalist Journal Entries

(Pages 1-50)
After reading for a few pages, it seemed almost as if the main character of the book, Changez, implicates the reader (us) as the person who he is talking to, and I thought that was a unique aspect of this book, unlike many other books. The American man that Changez is actually speaking to, I thought it was very strange how he was wearing a full suit, especially in a place like Lahore where the weather is extremely humid and hot. Throughout the reading, I found it even stranger how the American is so jumpy and cautious, sticking his hand into his coat pocket as if he is going to pull out a gun, when approached by the waiter and server of the place him and Changez are at. Though the American man is very suspicious when reaching his hand into his pocket, I believe Changez is playing dumb by saying things like “there is no need to pay the waiter before the meal,” and I think that Changez can read the American like a book. It is very obvious that the American has some sort of gun under his coat, and I know that Changez realizes that as well.

When Changez began recounting his experiences with his interview with Underwood Samson, I thought right away that Changez would not get the job as he lost his temper when the interviewer Jim started probing into his economic status and life back in Pakistan. Instead, I was surprised when Jim was actually impressed with Changez’s temper, and revealed that he also was a Princeton alumnus and the first person in his family to attend college as well. Nearing the end of the interview, I was surprised once again how Changez could predict the value and profits right on the spot of the imaginary company that Jim told him to value.

After reading about Erica, I would have found it extremely awkward if I were Changez, learning that Erica’s first true love was now deceased.
For some reason, I am not surprised after reading that Changez had ranked first in his Class. I was impressed that Jim’s house reminded Changez of The Great Gatsby, because in my opinion, from what I pictured after reading The Great Gatsby, the house must had been amazing.

(Pages 51-100)
I understand that Changez is attracted to Erica and would most likely not mind “getting with her,” but I still find it awkward when reading (I know for a fact that I would feel awkward if I was attracted to a woman that loved a man who had recently died of lung cancer). If I was Changez, I would have felt very out of place when Erica explained that the detailed sketch of the island within an island picture, was a picture her late boyfriend, Chris, had drawn.

I found it amusing when Changez went against Muslim traditions and accepted wine from Erica’s father at dinner, and when the American asserts that drinking is a sin according to Islam, I found it funny when Changez replied with “so, for that matter, is coveting thy neighbor’s wife.” I was impressed when Changez held his own after Erica’s father “bashed” Pakistan about it’s crumbling economy, tyrannical government, how the elites had “raped that place well and good,” and about it’s religious fundamentalists. I would have snapped if someone disrespected my country like that.

At this point, I look forward to what Changez says when the American reaches his hand into his coat. If I was the American, I would have noticed by now that Changez is not dumb enough not to realize that there is a gun under the coat, but I suppose he is also playing along as well. When Changez reminisces about “flying foxes,” I couldn’t picture myself in a pleasant state at all. I’ve seen what flying foxes look like, and they are extremely large for a “bat.” They average at about 3-4 feet tall, and have heads that resemble foxes. If I were to see a flying fox in person, I would immediately faint… or run for my life.

I found it very strange after I read how Changez smiled at the site of the World Trade Center towers collapsing. I...
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