The Reluctant Fundamentalist

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid is a dramatic monologue that, is half-conversation and half story, this allows a complex and engaging puzzle which challenges readers about the very nature of fundamentalism. At the beginning of his personal life journey, and as a self professed lover of America, Changez sees his newly adopted home as a place of possibility and ‘magical vibrancy’, his loyalty to America is the catalyst to his personal American dream. However, during a series of psychologically confront events, such as 9/11, Changez’s understanding of his inner world is gradually transformed, and he eventually accepts that he belongs in Pakistan. His love affair with the dream is over. Changez initially places his identity within the context of fulfilling his personal American Dream. When Changez arrives in America he envies everything the country represents, freedom, patriotism and pride. He ‘immediately [was] a New Yorker” assimilating himself into the New York culture. Changez relinquishes his ‘Pakistaniness’ in order to fit in with his Underwood Sampson colleges ‘my Pakistaniness was invisible, cloaked by my suit, by my expense account.’ ‘Unsheathing’ his American Express card as though it was a rare commodity at the Pun Jab Deli expressing ‘I have an expense account’ is a subtle sign of the change within in Changez as he becomes more like a New Yorker, consequently though the card was not accepted. As there were aspects of Changez sacrificing himself to achieve the American dream there is also examples of his true feelings about the façade he comes to understand the American dream to be. As Changez watched the collapse of New York’s World Trade Center he ‘smiled’, his ‘initial reaction was to be remarkably pleased’. Changez was smiling not at the deaths of thousands but at the symbolism of the Towers attacks, ‘the fact that someone had so visibly

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