The Reluctant Fundamentalist

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist ‘Does Changez find or lose his identity throughout his journey? Discuss.’ In The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which is written by Mohsin Hamid, the protagonist, who is a Pakistani, Changez struggles over whether he belongs in the modern Western world, which hold “one of the most advanced civilisations”, or his motherland of Pakistan which has the “appearance of former greatness” and is “rich with history”. As a person who likes discoveries, Changez moves across different countries and is exposed to a variety of different lifestyles and cultures. Although Changez has somewhat lost his old identity while living in New York, studying at Princeton and working for Underwood Samson, he ultimately remembers and resorts to his old identity when he is placed in a pressured situation, and is forced to examine his beliefs and attributes. During the beginning of the novel when Changez begins to talk to the ‘unknown’ American, he initially claims to be a “lover of America”. Although as Changez experiences the rush of Princeton and is welcomed into Underwood Samson, he starts to classify himself as a “New Yorker” rather than just an American, which indicates that he only feels accepted in one city, and not the whole country. We witness Changez working at both Princeton and Underwood Samson, and can on look him also changing, into the fast-paced life in New York. The latter also differs greatly to the somewhat slower life in Lahore, and yet he still thinks, and acts the same, and does not forget about his previous life in his homeland, but chooses to grow and develop. This is all done while still keeping his morals to a certain degree. The New York status makes Changez feel proud to be there because they say that all of the dreams come true, and makes him happy to be there. Except the attack on the World Trade Centre, when Changez was forced to change
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