The Reluctant Fundamentalist- Essay

1205 WordsAug 17, 20145 Pages
When Erica meets Changez, she appraises: “You give off this strong sense of home” (p.22). How important is the theme of home and homeland to ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’? The theme of home and homeland is of a fundamental significance to the The Reluctant Fundamentalist. It is not only the main theme of the story, but also the major internal force if we consider the entire shaping of the main character, Changez, to such an extent that the novel could be seen as having a circular structure: it both starts and ends reflecting on the notion of home. This essay aims to demonstrate the complex nature of Changez’s relationship with his country and to find evidence of the primary importance of the concept of home. It is necessary to highlight from the very beginning what homeland is for the narrating voice, namely Changez, a Pakistani who moves to America at the age of eighteen in order to study at Princeton, a famous American University. After his graduation, Changez starts working in New York, where a set of key events take place. Home for Changez is the city of his birth, namely Lahore, the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab, and the second largest city in the country. Lahore is also the place in which his family lives and, subsequently, a place that has some claims on his loyalty and emotions. Moreover, Changez is pervaded by a strong sense of national identity. As Billig (1995) puts it, “Having a national identity [...] involves being situated physically, legally, socially, as well as emotionally.” Although at the beginning of the novel this is equally true when Changez is in the United States, it is nonetheless probable that Changez is emotionally situated only in Pakistan if we consider The Reluctant Fundamentalist as a whole. As a consequence, based on a careful reading of the text, it could be assumed that there is no displacement or

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