English Exam Revision 2013
Table of Contents
Key statements about the text
The reluctant fundamentalist deals with themes relevant on a global scale and chronicles the rise and fall of Changez’s brief and torrid love affair with the American empire, and explores the notion of the self destructive nature of Empires. The novel additionally traces the dynamic relationship between two unlikely cafe-mates, Changez and the American. The novel is a one sided conversation symbolically forcing America to hear the other. The readers perspective, bias and vies of the world will determine if they associate with Changez or the American, or both. Overall the novel tries to explore the notion of stereotypes ad therefore causes the reader to question and challenge their own views, and perhaps predisposed prejudices.
Intention of author
The form of the novel, with the narrator and his audience both acting as characters, allowed me to mirror the mutual suspicion with which America and Pakistan (or the Muslim world) looks at one another. The Pakistani narrator wonders: is this just a normal guy or is her a killer out to get me? The American man who is his audience wonders the same. And this allows the novel to inhibit the interior emotional world much like the exterior political world it which it will be read. The form of the novel is an invitation to the reader. If the accepts, then, he or she will be called up to judge the novel’s outcome and shape its ending.
The Self Destructive Nature of Empires
Meeting the American
Nostalgia as both Poison and Salve
Homeland as a Non-Transferable Concept
Orientation at Underwood Samson
Foreignness as subjective and therefore Universal
The Pak-Punjab Deli
The Many Faces of “Fundamentalism”