The Reluctant Fundamentalist

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What is a reluctant fundamentalist? The best way to understand this term is to break down the term. To be reluctant is to have feelings of aversion, hesitation, unwillingness or to assume a specified role unwilling. A fundamentalist is one who adheres to any set of beliefs or principles. Then the term of being a reluctant fundamentalist is somewhat an ironic term, because this is a person who is not sure what beliefs it should adhere to. In the novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid our protagonist Changez becomes struggles between his identities of being an American or Pakistani through certain events in his life. The first part Changez’s journey to becoming a reluctant fundamentalist is his stay in America. Changez was native of a place called Lahore in the country of Pakistan. He was raised there by his family until the age of eighteen, where we was sent off to Princeton in the United States of America. Having to move to America was of course a drastic change for him considering he was of only two Pakistanis in his entering class. “I have access to this beautiful campus, I thought, to professors who are titans in their fields and fellow students who are philosopher-kings in the making” (Hamid, p. 3). At first the experience in the U.S. was more of a dream than a reality to Changez, because this was an opportunity that only so many international students would get to experience. He was top of his class in Pakistan and a good enough soccer player to play at Princeton and only with such credibility could one even dream of coming to the U.S. At Princeton, Changez began trying to fit in culturally with other students there. He would pretend to be a carefree young gentleman with no worries, but on the other hand he was holding down three on campus jobs to help pay for school. He wanted to fit in with the students that had nothing to worry about and

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