October 16, 2013
Symbolic Minor Characters
The importance of the minor characters in the novel is to create a complex and multilayered tale using characters as symbols adding a deeper meaning throughout the novel. In the novel the reluctant fundamentalist, by Mohsin Hamid, the author uses characters symbolically to create depth within the story. Erica, who is loved b the main character, is used in many aspects to symbolize America.
Erica who the main characters(Changez) meets and falls in love with, is described in similar details as America, making the reader understand how America is perceived from outside points of view. Even the name Erica is related to America, America ends in Erica. The author describes her as would someone about America, “She attracted people to her; she had a preserve, an uncommon magnetism...strong, sleek, and invariably surrounded by her pride” (Hamid, 22). The book also says Changez feels the same way about America. Changez identity is altered as he gets deeper into his American lifestyle. Changez feels shame because he has changed as a person,” Perhaps, by taking the persona of another, I had diminished myself in my own eyes” (Hamid, 106). This shows how he changed for Erica (America), and how he feels shame because his identity was changed. Erica’s emotion and mental state are directly related to that of Americas. Before 9/11 she is happy and emotionally stable, after 9/11 she becomes dark and lost, resulting in her being institutionalized, and soon after committing suicide. Before 9/11,” Erica glows with health and vitality, effortlessly attracting people to her orbit” (Hamid, ), but after 9/11 her description is noticeably different, “she becomes increasingly disturbed and distant”(Hamid, ). This shows that Erica’s mental state is directly related to that of Americas. Symbolizing Erica as America allowed the reader to understand how the outside world (Changez), views America (Erica), and how...
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