Atmosphere and Suspense in The Reluctant Fundamentalist Essays
681 Words3 Pages
How does Mohsin Hamid use ominous details and imagery to enhance the atmosphere and create suspense in The Reluctant Fundamentalist?
The Reluctant Fundamentalist written by Mohsin Hamid, tells the story of a young Pakistani named Changez, who arrived at Princeton at the vulnerable age of 18. Four years later he graduated “without having received a single B”(4), and began working at the elite valuation firm Underwood Samson. Changez was, in the beginning, infatuated with the idea of the American Dream, but at length he realized that the new life he had adopted in New York constituted a betrayal of his deepest self, and finally returned home. However, although Changez’s story took place in American, the plot was actually set in Lahore,…show more content… However, although readers are informed in detail of Changez’s life in New York, little is said about the American stranger to whom the monologue is depicted. The lack of detail regarding the stranger, yet the various indications that something is slightly abnormal about him makes for an ominous and suspenseful atmosphere.
“You prefer that seat, with your back so close to the wall?...And will you not remove your jacket?” (2), are among the first words exchanged between Changez and the American. Although it is teatime in Lahore was not yet dark, Hamid wastes no time in engulfing the stranger in a shroud of mystery. The quotation slightly implies that the man has ensconced a gun within his jacket, and therefore wishes to leave it on as not to reveal it to Changez. As Changez begins telling the stranger his story, the waiter comes to take their order. Changez then remarks “You seem worried. Do not be; this burly fellow is merely our waiter, and there is no need to reach under your jacket.” (6). Even though Changez was, or pretended to be, oblivious to this gesture, brushing it off by stating “I assume to grasp your wallet”(6), the uncertain and uneasy atmosphere which Hamid has now created continues to linger throughout the rest of novel.
As Changez vivaciously launches into his story, the waiter comes with the cups of tea and readers are again made aware of the novels