Why Is Changez Unable to Become an American?

Topics: Mohsin Hamid, Pakistan, New York City Pages: 4 (1633 words) Published: March 17, 2013
In the monologue, ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’, written by Mohsin Hamid, the protagonist is Changez, a Pakistani moves to America to pursue his Princeton degree, traces his journey of his adaption to American society, including his college life, his job at Underwood Samson, and his connection to an American girl. The assertion that “I was, in four and a half years, never an American; I was immediately a New Yorker” is not a valid point because he begins with defining himself as an American at the start. Whereas after the devastating effects of 9/11, and in consequence how Muslims were treated, Changez see’s the seeds of resentment on the surface, and becomes more patriotic towards Lahore. Likewise, his egocentricity starts to resonate as the monologue progresses; as he yearns for this due to the culmination of his ongoing search for power. At the beginning of the monologue, Changez describes to the American his journey from Lahore to America. As a college student at Princeton University, he perceived himself in public as “a young prince, generous and carefree.” Despite working to earn extra money for his college funding. Likewise, Changez’s ideals change as he starts to embrace the Western corporate meritocracy. Going to Princeton starts to transform him, and he adapts more to the stereotypical American values. Changez believes “this is a dream come true, my life was a film, I was the star, everything was possible.” He secures the job of a lifetime at Underwood Samson, he is described as Jim’s “fair haired boy,” and starts to become a product of America, A culmination of his degree from Princeton, his obsession for Erica, and his job at Underwood Samson. The fact that Changez feels “immediately a New Yorker,” relates to many different incidents. The cab drivers spoke Urdu, the people working at the Pak Punjab Deli were reminiscent of Lahore, and ease in which he fit in with the rest of the American community before the devastation and suspicion that erupted...
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