Why Is Changez Unable to Become an American? Essay

1622 Words Mar 6th, 2013 7 Pages
In the monologue, ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’, written by Mohsin Hamid, the protagonist is Changez, a Pakistani moves to America to pursue his Princeton degree, traces his journey of his adaption to American society, including his college life, his job at Underwood Samson, and his connection to an American girl. The assertion that “I was, in four and a half years, never an American; I was immediately a New Yorker” is not a valid point because he begins with defining himself as an American at the start. Whereas after the devastating effects of 9/11, and in consequence how Muslims were treated, Changez see’s the seeds of resentment on the surface, and becomes more patriotic towards Lahore. Likewise, his egocentricity starts to resonate as …show more content…
“The entrance between her legs reminded me of a wound, giving our sex a violent undertone.” This scene is uncomfortable, and one where we see Changez becoming a self-absorbed, narcissistic character, as well as him stating for his own conscience – “surely I could not have known what would happen to her over the weeks and months to follow.”
The element of nostalgia is also an important element that Hamid uses to warn us of its destructive force. Hamid links nostalgia with identity to further promote his negativity towards fundamentalism. Changez, similar to his relatives, finds nostalgia as a form of ‘crack cocaine’. Changez is unable to shake the ongoing yearning for his homeland due to his ongoing alienation from American society, however, by returning to his home in a land that was so ‘elegant’ and found his self ‘shamed’. When he returns to Pakistan to visit his family, he views through American eyes - “This was where I came from, this was my provenance, and it smacked of lowliness,” Hamid has warned us that if we rely too much on our memory, affected with nostalgia and therefore regard the past so highly, we may finally be subjectified to this past we craved for and face the truth that this previous form of life is not how we imagined it.
After the fall of the twin towers, we see a

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