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Exploring the Fundamentals

It is interesting that Mohsin Hamid chose The Reluctant Fundamentalist as the title of his book. Changez’s identity crisis was brought up a few times in our discussion. I think the title really plays on the fact that Changez struggles to clearly define who he believes he truly is. Whether his love for America extends beyond the opportunities it provides for him or whether he considers himself completely Pakistani or a mix of both, is never outright declared. At the end of the day, is it even correct to assume that Hamid is alluding to the fundamentalists that first come to mind…terrorists? During our discussion it was brought up that America is founded on the principle of working hard to achieve the American Dream and participating in the political and social processes. Are those not fundamentals when it comes to being successful citizen in this country? I just think it’s ironic that the title of the book is so dramatic and fear provoking when the character isn’t even a fully-practicing muslim. But again, you see a muslim today and you’re bound to think “extremist.”

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