Is Changez ‘Reluctant’ as the Title Suggests? Essay

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Is Changez ‘reluctant’ as the title suggests? Mohsin Hamid’s 2007 novel , “The reluctant fundamentalist” recounts a Pakistani migrant’s (to America) encounters and battle with the American dream. Changez, the protagonist portrays himself as enthusiastic and impressionable in the early stages of the novel, willing to embrace his new life however through progression he begins to become reluctant, in aspects of his life as the title suggest. Whether it be his hesitation towards actively perusing his ideal girl, held back by fear, or the development in his career, inhibiting him from being able to focus solely on the fundamentals. These various experiences force Changez to battle with his identity, his previously solid perception of himself is uplifted when he forcibly tries to live the American dream and is rejected. Throughout all these encounters of rejection and confusion Changez’s reluctance towards being used as an American weapon builds, tipping him over the edge back towards his roots. The ambitious Changez is enamoured by the American dream, his what seems to be ideal job and girl within his grasp he is far from reluctant to neglect his values. His “hunger” for success allows Changez to gain “money and status” in the form of a job at Underwood Samson, his willingness to ignore the poor and give to the greedy are far from his upbringing with a “poor boy’s sense of longing”. Seduced by this he is eager to accept the benefits of his job. Such a benefit allowed him to meet the “regal” and “stunning” (-Changez) Erica, captured by her beauty Changez “could not prevent [himself]” from pursuing a relationship with her. Choosing to push aside his morals he adjusts to be accepted, ignoring the aspects of the American’s that “annoyed” him such as “their self-righteousness” he willingly acts as expected of an upper class American. Changez believes that social acceptance

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