The Reluctant Fundamentalist

5450 WordsAug 15, 201322 Pages
Questions around the themes Fundamentalism Is Changez a Religious (Islamic) fundamentalist, or does he become one in his rejection of American society? Is Hamid implying that America is guilty of economic and political fundamentalism? Is Changez rejecting the ‘fundamentals’ of Underwood Sampson- maximum profit etc? Nostalgia When does nostalgia become destructive? Changez compares nostalgia to crack cocaine- How powerful is it really? And to whom? Identity What is the relationship between personal and cultural identity? Hamid is challenging the stereotype and suggesting that individual identity is far too complex to be understood easily. How does he do this? Appearances Appearances are not always what they seem- or are they? • Changez •…show more content…
Language often contains irony, sarcasm, tone. “Mission” is in italics and adds to threatening atmosphere and mystique around appearances Which one of them is on a mission? Chapter 2 Stereotyping Does Changez stereotype the people around him as much as he believes they stereotype him? Hamid, in ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ warns not only against stereotypes about Muslim people and countries, but against stereotypes of all kinds. How is Changez subjected to stereotypes about Pakistan and Muslim culture? Changez is subjected to or observes stereotyping from friends, colleague’s strangers that drives him to despair. But it is also true to say that one of the prominent features of this text is the comparison between Changez’s culture and his experience of the American culture- and to some extent it is natural to stereotype when comparing (eg-formality, tradition, respect). How does Changez stereotype and/or judge others? • It is important to note that it is often difficult to accurately pick Changez’ view as he is often ironic, prejudiced or sarcastic. Fundamentalism Changez presumably demonstrates his playfulness when he reveals his dream to the group of graduates to “one day...be the dictator of an Islamic republic with nuclear capability” (p33) Nostalgia Changez observes that America is a ‘meritocracy’- structured around a free-market economy and an individualist mindset- whereas Pakistani culture encourages a ‘traditional
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