Passage Analysis of The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
The syntax of this passage generates a cloud of confusion for Changez, as he never comes to a conclusion. Continuously questioning himself for the reasons of Erica’s decline, Changez develops a sense of helplessness. Interrupting himself mid-thought, Changez stops to further the possibilities and reasons for Erica’s waning health. The reasons begin on a greater scale such as the attack, but close in on personal issues like their lovemaking.
Believing that he is a possible cause for her breakdown, Changez is quick to remove himself from taking full responsibility. There is a shift in tone throughout this excerpt that leads Changez from feeling uncertain and responsible for Erica’s decline, and develops insecurities about him. The use of dashes within this passage proves the insecurity Changez has throughout his thoughts. A search for identity is revealed within this passage, as Changez cannot pinpoint what he lacks to offer Erica. Admitting that he could not offer Erica what she needed even by playing a man who was not himself. Changez feels belittled because no matter what, he is unable to give Erica any “comparable splendor” (115) to Chris. Through the sentence structure and continuous question posing, Changez’s character is further developed.
The diction of this passage is relevant because it parallels Erica’s realization of Chris’ “mortality”(115) to Changez’s “impermanence” (115) to Erica. Choosing specific words that apply to different aspects of the story allows for all relationships and themes to receive attention. The use of ‘impermanence’ is significant because it applies to Chris’ life as well as Changez and Erica’s. It describes Changez’s partnership to Erica. Though Erica physically lives in the present time, mentally, she lives in the “powerful nostalgia” (115). Erica’s constant impermanence between the different worlds of reality and fantasy is the true reason for her breakdown....