the reluctant fundamentalist dissertation
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Mohsin Hamid’s The Unwilling Fundamentalist follows the journey of a small Pakistani man and his quest after shifting to America in search of the American dream. Changez is a minority group when moving to America which is a clear outsider however he could be accepted into American meritocracy and provided the opportunity to become ‘a successful American’. Nevertheless he attempts to fit into what he feels a successful American should be, through changing his identity according to the standards of society, he is never truly accepted as an American.
This questioning of identity prospects him to also lose eyesight of who also he was as being a Pakistani, causing him to feel like a foreigner when returning to his homeland. Following your 9/11 bombings Changez makes a decision to halt attempting to fit in as an American and instead happily stands out since an outsider. The two conflicting identities, Pakistaner and American, are not able to job cohesively together leading to Changez becoming a great outsider in both America and his homeland Pakistan.
Despite the level to which Changez attempted to alter himself to be able to fit in since an American, he was always a great outsider. As only one out from the “two non-Americans in the going into class in Princeton, Changez was quickly part of a minority group. After going to Manila Changez makes a conscious decision to “speak and act like an American, as much as [his] dignity [would] allow him. Though this individual did this kind of to become more of a typical American he still feels a stronger connection to a Filipino taxi driver in Manila than the American’s he was associating with remembering “his fair hair and thinking “He was therefore foreign and [he] believed much closer to the Filipino driver than to him. Much like his initially sexual face with Erica, Changez can be rejected simply by America. Also after informing Erica to “pretend he is Chris all their sexual encounter still has “violent undertones even though he’s attempted to change his identity to fit what is wished by Erica he is continue to not able to be fully acknowledged.
No matter what Changez changes makes in the way he speaks, dresses and functions Changez is never truly an American. After spending so long trying to fit into American society, Changez returns to Pakistan and locates that he looks at that with the “eyes of a foreigner’. His dilemma in identity causes him to lose the sense of belonging he once experienced. Erica once told him that he seemed “solid and “gave off a solid sense of home even so going back to Pakistan he realises that he’s right now “lacking in substance and has become the type of “entitled, unsympathetic American which in turn once annoyed him. By trying so hardto fit in since an American Changez has shed sight of whom having been a Pakistani, causing him to think that a foreigner in the own homeland. Though often there is an underlying feeling of certainly not belonging in America, Changez does not make the mindful decision to become an outsider until the misfortune of 9/11. Changez contains a reaction atypical of the one a true American would most probably have. His initial effect is to laugh and become “caught up in the symbolism that someone had so visibly bought America to her legs. This was a level after which this individual decided to increase a beard which was “a form of protest. He goes back to America with his facial beard and turns into subject to ethnicity profiling, becoming yelled by a man in a car park as a result of his overall look. Despite the racism that he encounters and being told simply by his good friend Wainright that he should get rid of the beard Changez decides not to slice it, it is just a symbol of defiance and he right now recognises the inescapability of his foreignness. Changez constitutes a decision to not fit in because an American but rather make a press release against that and declare himself like a proud incomer. Changez offers two conflicting identities that are not able to interact. It is this kind of confliction that prevents Changez from feeling a sense of that belong in both Pakistani and America. Once Changez would go to a Pakistani deli in New York he attempts to pay with an American Exhibit corporate charge card. An American Share card is known as a sign of success and wealth nevertheless the cashier will never accept this.
The deli may symbolise Changez’ lifestyle in Pakistan whereas the American express is the life he’s present in America, both these styles which are unable to work together. It is not necessarily until Changez meets Juan Bautisa that he realises he is not able to be faithful to the two America and Pakistan. This individual becomes a great “ex janissary’ and earnings to Pakistan where he is able to feel a feeling of belonging as he no longer possess conflicting identities. Changez commences his voyage as a diligent young man performing his best to fit in in the us and willing to modify himself to be able to fit in. His change in personality does not result in him getting accepted while an American nevertheless does cause him to get rid of his impression of belonging in his homeland Pakistan. Changez’ conflicting loyalties to America and Pakistan make him feel unsuitable in both gets.