The Reluctant Fundamentalist's American Dream

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“Time only moves in one direction. Remember that. Things always change” (Hamid 96). In the book The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid portrays a young international student from Pakistan named Changez. Changez comes to the United States to fulfill the American dream, but America is about to let Changez down. He starts with every immigrant’s interpretation of the American dream: get rich and be able to provide for their family. Later, he changes his perspective briefly to America being a possible escape from Pakistan, and lastly shifts his perspective of the American dream to the pursuit of love. The American dream fails for Changez: he loses his job, gets deported back to Pakistan, and the woman he loves meets a tragic end.…show more content…
Immediately after the attacks, America was forced to think of the past and of death. For Erica, this brought back memories of the death of Chris. For days she would lock herself away, not eat, and not even sleep. Her body went into an emotional hypochondria. This forced Changez to lose contact with Erica- she wouldn’t call, email, or even write a letter to Changez. She may have viewed contact with Changez as cheating on her boyfriend Chris, whom had died a year prior. Erica was able to see that she needed help from a professional and checked herself into a mental institution until she felt better. Changez goes to visit Erica at the institution before he leaves to Chile for work. At this time, Erica appears to be good as new, her body is still weakened but her personality has seemed to return. When Changez returns back to the US he learns that Erica is missing. She was seen saying goodbye to the nurses and other patients and then disappeared into the night. Her clothes were found folded up on the snow next to the Hudson River. Erica may have ran away to another part of the country but the Hamid points more towards the fact that Erica dove into the icy waters. This explanation for her disappearance is likely because now she can be with the man that she had always loved, Chris. For Changez, this marked an end to an American dream of love.

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