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The Reluctant Fundamentalist Essay Sample

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist Essay Sample

The Reluctant Fundamentalist compels us to understand and applaud Changez’s rejection of America and the dream it offers him.

Changez’s story begins a year before the September 11th terrorist attacks. There are two main locations mentioned in the novel. Lahore; which is Changez’s hometown in which his family resided as upper class society whose wealth had diminished but status remained. He attends a prestigious school and gets a job at a highly valued company as a valuer. His view on America and the “American Dream” becomes tarnished over-time and he eventually begins to resent America.

Changez expresses himself as a “lover” of America to his anonymous listener at the start of the novel. For Changez, the journey from Pakistan to attend Princeton and then getting a job at Underwood Samson was “a dream come true.” Princeton inspired him to feel like his life was a film and he was the star and “everything was possible” Changez later in the book refers to this as his American Dream. His life before 9/11 is one of many possibilities, not simply achieving status. He says “Underwood Samson had the potential to transform my life as surely as it had transformed his, making my concerns about money and status things of the distant past.” Changez motivations are founded in his feeling of being an “outsider” the motivation of status for Changez is not one of being an outsider in a foreign country, but it comes from the feeling that his own country is powerless in the world.

Changez views and perception of America completely change after the terrorist attack of 9/11, He had imagined America as a country that would move on from an event like this, and not look back. The complete opposite occurred. They were trying their hardest to remember. Changez was upset by the fact that Afghanistan had helped America in the past, And now America was bombing them. As he watches the towers fall in his hotel room in the Philippines’. He smiles. This is a major turning point in his views on America.

While in Chile, Changez meets Juan Bautista. The chief of the publishing company he is Valuing. While speaking to Juan, Changez has an epiphany. Juan Bautista tells Changez the stories of Janissaries. Bautista suggests that Changez himself is a modern day Janissary, but in reverse. Changez says “I was a modern day Janissary, A servant of the American empire at a time when it was invading a country with a kinship to mine” It’s Bautista who inspires Changez to resign from Underwood Samson and return to Pakistan. In a way, Bautista revealed to Changez his mission.

To conclude, The Reluctant Fundamentalist inspires us to look at Changez story from his perspective, how he first viewed America; and how he later views it and began to resent it. What he expected from such a rich and powerful country, is not what happened. He expected America to get through it as a nation. Not to Attack an ally of his country.

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