Changez finds his identity throughout his journey. Discuss.
Did he have identity to start with?
Did he lose his identity throughout his journey?
Changez does find his identity throughout his journey, however, at time he loses himself and is confused about where he belongs.
Finding his identity: Realisations, moves back to Lahore
Losing his identity: Pretending to be Chris, starts acting like an American (in Philippines) Confused about his identity: Beard, 9/11 attacks, “Princeton made everything possible…but it did not, could not, make me forget such things as how much I enjoy the tea in this, the city of my birth” Mohsin Hamid’s novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist, illustrates the conflicting struggle between the protagonist Changez and his ongoing pursuit to discover his identity throughout his peregrination. Through the duration of the novel, the reader is subjected to Changez’s transitioning character as he endeavours the challenges which are faced by a foreigner in New York during the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Changez battles with the uncertainty which is bestowed up him from being both a New Yorker and a Pakistani man, which puts his identity into question. Through the many events which feature in the novel, the reader is able to deduct that whilst Changez may lose himself and become perplexed about his identity during his time in New York, he ultimately is a man who is entrenched in his heritage.
Changez’s odyssey to New York caused him to become a ‘lover of America,’ however it also resulted in him losing touch with his true character. For Changez, arriving in America was a ‘dream come true,’ and attending Princeton inspired him into feeling that his life was a ‘film in which (he) was the star and everything was possible.’ As novel develops, the reader is able to see a progression from the originally ‘polite’ Changez, who considered the American’s he was travelling around Greece with as ‘devoid of refinement’ due to...
English Essay: The ReluctantFundamentalist
Task: Compare novel and movie. Describe similarities and differences. Try to find reasons for the changes.
The film “The ReluctantFundamentalist” based on Mohsin Hamid's book written in 2007, is quite similar to the novel. However, there are some aspects that were slightly modified, completely removed from the storyline or added to the movie.
In both novel and movie, the main character Changez is a prodigious student from Pakistan who completes his degree in Finance in Princeton University and joins Underwood Samson, a consultancy firm, as an analyst. He goes to Greece on holiday, where he meets and falls in love with Erica, an american woman who griefs over the death of her ex-boyfriend, Chris. Soon after meeting each other, Erica has coitus with Changez, who convinces her to close her eyes and fantasize that she is with Chris, in order for her to become adequately aroused.
Despite sleeping with each other, their relationship further deteriorates as she fails to move on from her ex-boyfriend's death and she is consequently admitted to a clinic. Later on, Changez discovers that Erica has gone missing.
In his professional life, Changez impresses his peers and gets support by his superiors, specially his boss Jim, the person who holds him in high esteem. The firm sends him on offshore assignments to the Phillippines and Chile. Meanwhile, in the...
...It is Changez’s shifting identity that creates the main interest and tension in the novel. Do you agree?
Throughout Mosin Hamid’s “The ReluctantFundamentalist” there is a continual undercurrent of tension, with the main point of focus centred on Changez’s shifting identity. This being said, Changez is not the sole focus of the framed novel, with a mix of character’s actions and emotions building up the rise in tension. As the novel is told to us through the words of Changez, he is obviously considered to be the protagonist; the source of a large part of the angst which resonates from the text. Another prominent character in the novel, Erika, pulls away from the complete focus on Changez, adding in on another of the main sources of tension, as well as a part of the reasons for Changez’ change in identity. Another cause of tension comes from The American as well as the waiter, who occur outside of Changez’ narrative and add an undercurrent of mistrust. These characters add to the strain in the text, bringing in suspicion and highlighting many of the issues that Changez raises in his narrative and left ambiguous to allow for interpretation.
From the obvious similarities between Changez’ name and change, it can be seen that Changez himself is a symbol for change. These changes that Changez experiences coincide with his shifting identity. From the outset of his narrative within the novel, Changez can be seen to be ‘hungry for success’, eager to...
“It’s like I’m an oyster. I’ve had this sharp speck inside me for a long time, and I’ve been trying to make it more comfortable, so slowly I’ve turned it into a pearl.”
'The ReluctantFundamentalist' a ‘brief and charming story; a ‘seething commentary on the events of post 9/11 and the resentment it has created in the minds of non-western world for the way America has conducted itself after the attacks. A monologue narrated by a young bearded Pakistani man Changez to his unnamed American guest with whom he meets in one of the oldest and busiest districts of Lahore Anarkali. Changez tells his guest about his life and experiences of America; narrating the days he has spent in America first as a student and then as a successful wall street professional, professing himself as a lover of America and describing his journey from Pakistan to Princeton and then to Underwood Samson as a dream comes true. Later, in spite of his success in the roles and prospects given to him by the host land; he experienced qualms about his contributions in those tendered roles as well as on the America's role in the world.
Changez belongs to an upper class family whose wealth has diminished over the generations due to economic adversity, and family vice, but still whose social standings persists. He moved to America from his native city of Lahore to study on scholarship at Princeton. At the top of his class...
Choose a novel in which one of the main characters struggles with identity or the culture of the environment they live in.
Describe the character’s situation and go on to discuss how it adds to your understanding of the character and the central concerns of the text.
In Mohsin Hamid’s The ReluctantFundamentalist’, the main character, Changez, struggles to feel comfortable with his true identity throughout the novel. Through Hamid’s use of characterisation and plot structure, he helps us understand the conflict between Changez’s true identity and the identity he creates for himself on his journey from Pakistan to America and back again.
Hamid’s use of characterisation of Changez early in the novel helps us to understand his discomfort with his identity. As he explains his motivations for moving to America and attending Princeton to the American stranger, he reveals his family’s dwindling wealth and status in Pakistan:
“We continue to be invited to the functions and weddings and parties of the cities elite. And we look with a mixture of disdain and envy upon the rising class of entrepreneurs.”
Changez tells the American that his family have always been invited to the elite gatherings in Pakistan, but now due to their dwindling wealth he feels uncomfortable at these events. His ‘disdain and envy’ for the ‘new’ elite imply that he is unsure of his status in the...
TO WHAT EXTENT IS THE RELUCTANTFUNDAMENTALIST ABOUT NOSTALGIA?
Yes, the novel “ The ReluctantFundamentalist” revolves around the theme of Nostalgia
What is nostalgia?
How is it shown in the novel
Body Paragraph 1: Changez
Changez often shows signs of nostalgia when remembering his journey.
The audience can see that toward the end Changez is spiralling into the dangers of Nostalgia.
When Changez thinks about his countries past he feels jealous, not at America, but at the fact that the world notices America’s greatness and looks up to the country but doesn’t ponder on Lahore’s pronounced history.
Changez often remembers New York with fondness but he has a profound hatred toward America.
When reminiscing about his time in New York, Changez remembers the “cosmopolitan nature” of the city displayed before 9/11, and what America turned it into after 9/11.
Body Paragraph 2: Erica
Erica cannot let go of the memory of her deceased childhood sweetheart
While she physically moves in reality, mentally she is stuck in the memories of her past.
Body Paragraph 3: America
After September 11 America clings to its past.
“Nostalgia was their crack cocaine”
TO WHAT EXTENT IS THE RELUCTANTFUNDAMENTALIST ABOUT NOSTALGIA?
Nostalgia is defined as a “sentimental longing or wistful thinking for a period in the past”. In theory nostalgia is a...
...Hamid suggests that in difficult times people and nations retreat into nostalgia. How is this explored in the novel?
Mohsin Hamid's one man monologue narrative 'The ReluctantFundamentalist' provide us with an interesting insight of the difficult times faced, in the past and present of the novel's protagonist Changez. It is considered that 'nostalgia' has a audacious effect on the main characters of the novel, and most unrecognisably, the United States of America. Throughout the novel it is suggested that the theme of nostalgia shown through the characters and the country, is brought upon by strenuous events and occurrences that are implemented on each character differently and somewhat the same. When the theme is drawn to a close, Hamid's intentions are to show the victims different perceptions, giving the readers a clear view of how nostalgia is portrayed in the novel, what nostalgia really is, and the surroundings of nostalgia revolving around Changez. The course of the ReluctantFundamentalist, presents how the characters, nor the country, can resist the changes that occur in this dynamic cycle of life. The changes of all victims, are inevitable, therefore it is required they accept the changes, and resort back to nostalgia as fond memories that have been shared. Although, nostalgia is sometimes progressively dangerous and cannot, be accepted or overcome.
In the delivery of the theme it is obvious that...
Published in 2007 in these languages. Became an international bestseller with over a million copies in print. Was adapted for the cinema.
Won the Ambassador Book Award, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, Asian American Literary Award, Premio Speciale Dal Testo Allo Schermo, and South Bank Show Award for Literature.
Was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Commonwealth Writers Prize, Arts Council England Decibel Award, Australia-Asia Literary Award, and Index on Censorship T R Fyvel Award.
Was named a Book of the Decade by the Guardian and a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times.
'An artist of fantastic cunning... demonstrates what certain trumped-up laureates of post-modernity seem incapable of grasping: that it is possible to simultaneously address the byzantine monstrosity of contemporary existence and care about the destiny of one's characters... [a] resounding success... not unworthy of Nabokov.' -- The Village Voice (full review)
'Taut and accomplished... Changez's story, which seems to gush from him like blood from a wound, traces the self's shifting sense of itself against the rumblings of a rudely shaken world... Dostoyevskian.' -- San Francisco Chronicle (full review)
'Changez's voice is extraordinary. Cultivated,...
...Crossing Dangerous Borders
Mira Nair on ‘The ReluctantFundamentalist’
Mira Nair’s ‘ReluctantFundamentalist’: The director Mira Nair discusses her latest film, “The ReluctantFundamentalist.”
By FRED KAPLAN
Published: April 19, 2013
It seems far-fetched that “The ReluctantFundamentalist,” Mohsin Hamid’s 2007 best-selling novel, would be turned into a movie. First, there’s its narrative structure. A young man greets an American tourist in a cafe in the Pakistani city of Lahore and proceeds to tell his life story. That’s the entire book; we never hear from the American or anyone else.
But also, the young man, Changez Khan, is a bearded Pakistani radical, not a sympathetic type on American screens. Finally, as the tale unfolds, clues mount that he might be a terrorist and the American might be a spy who has come to kill him, although this remains ambiguous — a literary trait hard to capture on film.
And yet the movie is opening on Friday, directed by Mira Nair, who may also seem an odd choice — “an Indian director making a Pakistani film in America,” as she puts it.
From another angle, though, Ms. Nair is a natural fit. Her father was raised in Lahore before the partitioning that carved out Pakistan as a separate nation. Later, as a lawyer in New Delhi, he helped found the India-Pakistan Friendship Society. Ms. Nair first visited Lahore only in 2004,...