The reluctant fundamentalist- Comparitive study
“It seems an obvious thing to say, but you should not imagine that we Pakistanis are all potential terrorists, just as we should not imagine that you Americans are all undercover assassins.”
The book is about a Pakistani man named Changez who goes to the US to study in Princeton, gets a job with a valuation firm, feels empowered by the American ideals of opportunity and equality – but finds himself becoming more defensive about his cultural identity in a divided, post-9/11 world. Importantly, this story is told in an abstract way: it takes the form of a long monologue addressed by Changez – now back in Pakistan – to an unnamed and voiceless American tourist, who becomes a stand-in for the reader. If we compare the book and the movie,For Hamid, the very nature of his dramatic monologue implied a bias: the reader only hears the Pakistani side, the American never speaks. But Nair clearly wanted a more balanced approach, and her key change is to provide a context to the meeting between Changez and the American, doing away with the latter’s formlessness and giving him a distinct identity, voice and purpose. This inevitably also meant expanding the bits of the story set in Pakistan.
Erica,in the novel, is a represenation of america,how it changes after 9/11 and changez's reaction to these changes. Erica is a beautiful,aspiring writer , who is the daughter of upper class New York parents. She is the center of attention at social gatherings and everyone seems to gravitate towards her.Erica's grief at the loss of chris- her first and only lover from childhood to adulthood- has left her with a profound and enduring grief. Chris,erica tells changez, is "home" & that she is being pulled away from the real physical world towards this powerful feeling of "home". 9/11 is a both catalyst and a parallel for Erica's final journey to home. According to changez, Erica was "disappearing" in the same powerful nostalgia...
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