“a Story of Love Gone Wrong.” Is This an Adequate Description of the Novel. Essay

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Mohsin Hamid, in his novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist explores the effects of 9/11 through the eyes of his protagonist, Changez, a Pakistani who lived in America for ‘four and a half years.’ Changez shares his experiences of living in America, where he questions his identity after 9/11, owing to the stereotypes about all Pakistanis being terrorists. By using Changez as a narrator and an American man as a listener, Hamid explores the underlying issues of 9/11, the vulnerability of people after such an event and the effects it has on the nation. Hamid does this by exploring the rise and fall of Changez’s relationship with America and Erica. Hamid explores Changez’s initial infatuation with America. The novel implies that even though Changez is later ambivalent about his connection with America, he loves certain aspects of America. On Changez’s return to Pakistan for good, despite his painful experiences with Erica, the Corporate culture and the Post 9/11 hostility, he still ‘tends to become sentimental when [he thinks] of [America]. It still occupies a place of great fondness in [his] heart’. While talking to the American he recalls that ‘surely, by night, New York is one of the greatest sights in the world’. Throughout the novel, Changez reminisces on certain aspects of America, such as ‘American popcorn shrimp’ and significant landmarks such as the ‘expressive beauty of the Empire State Building.’ Despite the traumatic and confronting experiences Changez faces in his ‘4 and a half’ year stay in New York, he still longs for certain parts of the American culture. Changez confesses that he is ‘a lover of America’ and may not respect what America represents but still likes the country. The novel is largely about Changez’ experiences with America. However, the novel also deals with the devastation of human spirit after 9/11. The events of 9/11 leaves both the

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