The Reluctant Fundamentalist Nostalgia

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Lesson Objective
To understand the concept of nostalgia and how it is a theme in ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’.

A warning:
This will stray a little into ‘Whose Reality?’ territory, but remember that this is a text response and whenever you mention nostalgia in a text response essay, it must be when directly discussing the text. NO general discussion of the concept is allowed!

The term nostalgia describes a yearning for the past, often in idealised form. Nostalgia is often triggered by something reminding the individual of an event or item from their past. The resulting emotion can vary from happiness to sorrow. The term of "feeling nostalgic" is more commonly used to describe pleasurable emotions associated with and/or a longing to go back to a particular period of time.

We have all had to listen to someone being nostalgic for something they once had, eg: a beautiful home. Over time, this vision of the past can become idealised.

The reality might not be as far away as this, but we know that some people forget to recall the unpleasant aspects of the past.

The destruction of the World Trade Centre had, as she had said, churned up old thoughts that had settled in the manner of sediment to the bottom of a pond; now the waters of her mind were murky with what previously had been ignored. I did not know if the same was true of me.” Think about the above quote, then complete the table below, how does nostalgia affect each of the following after 9/11?

America Erica Changez

After the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan “our friend and a fellow Muslim nation besides”, Changez is deeply troubled and drinks himself to sleep. “I was reminded of the film Terminator, but with the roles reversed so that the machines were cast as heroes.” Using the purple text as a starter, complete the paragraph answering the following question: What are “the embers” symbolic of?

Changez struggles to remain focussed on the...
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