The Reluctant Fundamentalist Analysis

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In a time of loss, there are steps people take to recover and handle the cards they have been dealt. In the 9/11 attack, 2,753 lives were taken and America was left with the horror. Through a change of identity, extreme cautiousness, and the difficulty to be loved by Changez, Erica is a clear personification of America in Changez’s eyes. Throughout The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Erica personifies America by representing greatness and security in Changez’s life. As the novel progresses after 9/11, they both grow to represent uncertainties in his life instead, due to traumatic events. One of the characteristics Erica possesses that make her a personification of America after 9/11 is that she has a change of identity. Erica starts off in the novel represented to Changez as being happy and strong, then let’s her grief consume her overtime and those qualities change to sadness and weakness. This is evident when Changez expresses She attracted people to her; she had presence, an uncommon magnetism. Documenting her effect on her habitat, a naturalist would likely have compared her to a lioness: strong, sleek, and invariably surrounded by her pride (Hamid, 22). This describes Erica’s strong character which over time changes due to the loss of her boyfriend, Chris. Her loss of identity is explained by Changez when he states “I wondered what I could do to help Erica. Seeing her as I have seen her last- emaciated, detached, and so lacking life- pained me;” (Hamid, 140). This quote
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